#38: Gerald Ford

August 24, 2013

President Gerald Ford www.PresidentialFactsandTrivia.com

Facts:

Born July 14, 1913, Died December 26, 2006

Presidential Term: August 9, 1974 to January 20, 1977

President Gerald Ford Trivia:

Gerald Ford was the first man to hold both the Presidency and the Vice Presidency without being elected to either …

When former President Ford died in December, 2006, he was (and remains) the President who lived the longest life at 93 years, 5+ months. The second oldest to date was Ronald Reagan, who lived 93 years and one day shy of 4 months.

Like every other president, Ford hosted his share of state dinners, where dignitaries from other countries are invited to the White House and entertained as a show of respect. One such state dinner featured Queen Elizabeth of England. President Ford gallantly asked the Queen to dance, but upon arriving on the dance floor, the band began striking up the next song on their playlist. The title? “The Lady is a Tramp”. Fortunately, Queen Elizabeth took it in stride and the band abruptly halted the song and began playing something more appropriate.

Gerald Ford’s birth name was Leslie Lynch King, Jr. As an infant, his parents seperated and subsequently divorced. Three years later, in 1916, Ford’s mother married a man named Gerald Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The future President then became known as Gerald Ford, Jr. It is said Ford only saw his birth father twice after his infancy; Leslie King died in 1941 …

Ford was a linebacker at the University of Michigan and played on a national championship team. He received offers to play football profesionally, but turned them down to become an assistant football coach at Yale, where he also applied to law school …

During World War Two, Ford served almost four years in the Navy. He was appointed to a variety of leadership positions, achieved the rank of lieutenant commander, and fought in several fierce battles in the South Pacific …

Before becoming Vice President in the Nixon administration, Ford served 24 years in the House of Representatives. He was noted for his ability to cultivate effective relationships, regardless of political affiliation, as well as a reputation for hard work and personal integrity. After Nixon’s Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned due to income tax fraud, Nixon quickly appointed Ford to the position, in large part due to Ford’s ability to get things done in Congress …

President Ford was the target of two assassination attempts in 1975, both by women …

President Ford served a term of two years and 164 days before being succeeded by President Jimmy Carter, who defeated Ford in the 1976 election. Ford’s term is the 5th shortest to date. Presidents who served shorter terms than Ford were (in order of shortest terms) William Henry Harrison, James Garfield, Zachary Taylor, and Warren G. Harding …

For a brief time in the 1940′s, Ford worked as a male fashion model for Cosmopolitan and Look magazines …

Ford’s wife Betty was an extremely popular First Lady. As a younger woman, she once danced at Carnegie Hall as a member of Martha Graham’s dance troupe. During the 1976 presidential election, bumper stickers abounded with the slogan “Vote For Betty’s Husband”. Later in life, she became even more respected as the founder of the Betty Ford Center, a treatment center for addiction in California …

President Ford was the first to release the results of his annual presidential physical in 1975. He was given a clean bill of health …

President Gerald Ford Literary Resources

Click on titles for more details …

“Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970′s”

“Write It When I’m Gone” (Published just after Ford’s death, a remarkable collection of off-the-record conversations with Gerald Ford)

President Gerald R. Ford Historic Sites

Two President Ford historical sites are located in Ford’s adopted home state of Michigan, and although they’re located in different Michigan cities, they both operate under the same banner. The Gerald Ford Presidential Library and Museum operates the museum in Grand Rapids and also the library in Ann Arbor. While the library is more suited for historians conducting research, the museum in Grand Rapids is where the public can gain an appreciation and perspective of the 38th President, who entered both the office of Vice President and later President under trying circumstances.

Here’s a short overview video of the Ford Presidential Museum:

The museum is located less than a five minute drive from downtown Grand Rapids and is the location where both former President Ford and his wife Betty are buried …

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Category: U.S. Presidents Facts and Trivia

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