Gerald Rudolf Ford, Jr, 1913 - 2006

portrait of Gerald R. Ford
Official presidential portrait by David Hume Kennerly, 1974
Gerald R. Ford signature

Born: 14 July 1913, Omaha, Nebraska
Died: 26 December 2006, Rancho Mirage, California

The man we know as Gerald Ford was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr at Omaha, Nebraska on this day in 1913. , Ford's mother left an abusive relationship just two weeks after the birth and lived with family for several years. After marrying Gerald Rudolff Ford, they renamed the boy although he was not adopted and didn't legally take the name until 1935. Ford was active in the Boy Scouts of America and was the only US president to have been an Eagle Scout. Ford earned his BA at the University of Michigan where he was also a football star, earned a law degree at Yale while coaching boxing, football, and cheerleading there. He practice law very briefly before enlisting in the Navy after Pearl Harbor. He first served as a teacher and coach, then was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Monterey from it's launch until it was damaged in a typhoon. Returning to Grand Rapids, Michigan after the war, he married Elizabeth Bloomer Warren (Betty) and soon unseated the incumbent congressman, serving in the House for 25 years, eight of them as Minority Leader. When Vice President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign, Richard Nixon nominated Ford to the position, then Ford became the 38th President when Nixon resigned. He wasn't involved in Watergate and he didn't get us into Vietnam, but he was at the helm when both of those misadventures came to an end. His pardon of Nixon was unpopular with many, but it put an end to the daily barrage of scandal.

Biography from Wikipedia and the White House

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