Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was an American politician and attorney who served as the 38th President of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977. He was the only president to have served in the U.S. House of Representatives and not be elected to either the presidency or the U.S. Senate.
Ford was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan and Yale Law School. During World War II, he served as a naval officer in the Pacific theater. After the war, Ford worked as a lawyer in Grand Rapids and served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 25 years, representing Michigan’s 5th congressional district. He became the Minority Leader in 1965.
Ford was appointed Vice President in October 1973, following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew. He became President upon Richard Nixon’s resignation in August 1974. As president, Ford faced challenges such as the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and the ongoing Vietnam War. He signed into law the Helsinki Accords, which improved relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. He also granted a presidential pardon to Nixon for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.
Ford lost the 1976 presidential election to Jimmy Carter. After leaving office, he retired to Rancho Mirage, California, where he wrote his memoirs and remained active in various political and civic organizations. Ford died in 2006 at the age of 93.
Gerald Ford was born Leslie Lynch King Jr. on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska. He was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by his maternal grandparents after his parents divorced when he was 2 years old.
Ford married Elizabeth Bloomer Warren in 1948 and they had four children together: Michael Gerald Ford, John Gardner Ford, Steven Meigs Ford, and Susan Elizabeth Ford.
Ford graduated from the University of Michigan in 1935 and later attended Yale Law School, where he earned his law degree in 1941.
During World War II, Ford served as a naval officer in the Pacific theater. After the war, he worked as a lawyer in Grand Rapids and became involved in politics.
Ford was a devout Christian and was a lifelong member of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
He died on December 26, 2006, at the age of 93, in Rancho Mirage, California.
Throughout his life, Ford was known for his honesty and integrity, and for his commitment to public service. He remains one of the most popular and respected U.S. presidents in recent history.