Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum
   You are in: Museum of History >> Hall of USA >> US Presidents >> Gerald R. Ford

Who was the First U.S. President?
There were actually four first Presidents
of the United Colonies and States of America
Click Here


New Page 1

Gerald R. Ford
49th President of the United States
39th under the US Constitution


 

 

GERALD RUDOLPH. FORD was born as Leslie Lynch King, Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska on July 14, 1913. He was the only child of Leslie Lynch King and Dorothy Gardner King. Two weeks after his birth, his mother left her husband and took her son to live with her parents in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His parents were divorced in 1914 and his mother met Gerald R. Ford at a church function. They were married on February 1, 1916 and although Ford never formally adopted her son, he gave the child his name, Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. Young Ford did not know until 1930 that he was not the biological son of his father, but he took the name legally on December 3, 1935. In later years, Ford saw his natural father only a few times and learned that he had remarried and fathered another boy and two girls.

Growing up in Grand Rapids, Ford attended the local grade schools and worked in his stepfather’s paint and varnish store. The Fords were a close-knit family, which included three younger half-brothers. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and was the star center for the South High School football team. He won a football scholarship to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1931 and played center on their undefeated national football championship teams of 1932 and 1933. After his graduation in 1935, Ford received offers to play professional football with both the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers but instead he entered Yale University to study law. He accepted a job as assistant football coach and freshman boxing coach to finance his studies. He graduated from Yale in 1941 and returned to Grand Rapids to open a law firm with Philip R. Buchen, a friend from the University of Michigan.

In April 1942, Ford enlisted in the Navy and was commissioned an ensign. After orientation, he became a physical fitness instructor at the pre-flight training school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In the spring of 1943, he was assigned to duty aboard the USS Monterey, which took part in most of the major operations in the South Pacific. He earned ten battle stars and was discharged as a lieutenant commander in February 1946.

Ford returned to Grand Rapids and became a partner in the firm of Butterfield, Keeney and Amberg and became active in local Republican politics. With the encouragement of his stepfather, who was the county Republican chairman, Ford decided to run for Congress. He won the election to the House of Representatives from Michigan’s 5th Congressional District in 1948, receiving 61 percent of the vote in the general election. During the height of the campaign on October 15, 1948, Ford secretly married Elizabeth (Betty) Bloomer Warren. She was a fashion consultant for a leading Grand Rapids department store. She had previously been married to William C. Warren, having been divorced in 1947. Betty was born in Chicago and had studied dance with Martha Graham and had been a model in New York. The couple would have four children: Michael Gerald, born March 14, 1950; John Gardner, born March 16, 1952; Steven Meigs, born May 19, 1956; and Susan Elizabeth, born July 6, 1957.

Ford was reelected twelve times, serving from January 3, 1949 to December 6, 1973. He served on the House Appropriations Committee and rose to prominence on the Defense Appropriation Subcommittee, becoming its ranking minority member in 1961. His reputation as a legislator grew and he became House Minority Leader in 1965. In both the 1968 and 1972 elections Ford was a loyal supporter of Richard Nixon who had been a friend for many years. In 1973, when Nixon’s Vice President, Spiro T. Agnew, was forced to resign over a income tax scandal, Nixon picked Ford as the new Vice President. Following the most thorough background investigation in the history of the FBI, Ford was confirmed and sworn in on December 6, 1973. The following year, Nixon resigned over Watergate and Ford became President. He became the first person to become President of the United States without having been elected president or vice president. Ford took the oath of office on August 9, 1974 and within a month he nominated Nelson Rockefeller for vice president. On September 9, 1974, Ford granted Nixon a “full, free and absolute pardon”, believing that protracted impeachment proceedings would keep the country from focusing on its other problems. Public reaction was most negative and the decision may have cost him the election in 1976.

Ford presided over a period of steadily improving relations with the Soviet Union, reaching an agreement on limiting nuclear arms. He had the misfortune to inherit the weakest American economy of the post-World War II period. He faced rising inflation, rising unemployment and rising energy use. In the spring of 1975 the North Vietnamese began their last offensive of the war. Only a small contingent of American personnel remained in Saigon and as the North Vietnamese advanced toward the capital, they were forced into a desperate and chaotic evacuation. On April 30, 1975, the war was officially ended.

On two separate trips to California in September 1975, Ford was the target of assassination attempts. Both of the assailants were women – Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a follower of convicted murderer Charles Manson, and by Sara Jane Moore.

Ford fought a strong challenge by Ronald Reagan to gain the Republican nomination during the 1976 campaign. He chose Senator Robert Dole of Kansas as his running mate but lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter in one of the closest elections in history.

Ford returned to private life in California where he built a new house in Rancho Mirage. He continues to actively participate in politics and campaigns extensively for Republican candidates. In August 1999, Ford received the Medal of Freedom presented by President Bill Clinton. This honor, the nation’s highest civilian award, was in recognition of Ford’s role in guiding he nation through the turbulent times of Watergate, the Nixon resignation and the end of the Vietnam War.


 


Click on Image 1 or Image 2  to Enlarge

Ford Pardon of Richard M. Nixon
Courtesy of the National Archives


 


 

Presidents of the Continental Congress
United Colonies of The United States

Peyton Randolph
September 5, 1774 to October 22, 1774 
and May 20 to May 24, 1775

Henry Middleton
October 22, 1774 to October 26, 1774

John Hancock
October 27, 1775 to July 1, 1776

 

Presidents of the Continental Congress
United States of America

John Hancock
July 2, 1776 to  October 29, 1777

Henry Laurens
November 1, 1777 to December 9, 1778

John Jay
December 10, 1778 to September 28, 1779

Samuel Huntington
September 28, 1779 to February 28, 1781


Presidents of the United States
in Congress Assembled

Samuel Huntington
1st President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to July 6, 1781

Thomas McKean
2nd President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
July 10, 1781 to November 5, 1781

John Hanson
3rd President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782

Elias Boudinot
4th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 4, 1782 to November 3, 1783

Thomas Mifflin
5th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 3, 1783 to June 3, 1784

Richard Henry Lee
6th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 30, 1784 to November 23, 1785

John Hancock
7th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 23, 1785 to June 6, 1786

Nathaniel Gorham
8th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
June 1786 - November 13, 1786

Arthur St. Clair
9th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
February 2, 1787 to October 29, 1787

Cyrus Griffin
10th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
January 22, 1788 to March 4, 1789


Presidents of the United States
under the
United States Constitution

 

George Washington (F)

John Adams (F)

Thomas Jefferson (D-R)

James Madison (D-R)

James Monroe (D-R)

John Quincy Adams (D-R)

Andrew Jackson (D)

Martin Van Buren (D)

William H. Harrison (W)

John Tyler (W)

James K. Polk (D)

David Atchison (D)*

Zachary Taylor (W)

Millard Fillmore (W)

Franklin Pierce (D)

James Buchanan (D)

Abraham Lincoln (R)

Jefferson Davis (D)**

Andrew Johnson (R)

Ulysses S. Grant (R)

Rutherford B. Hayes (R)

James A. Garfield (R)

Chester Arthur (R)

Grover Cleveland (D)

Benjamin Harrison (R)

Grover Cleveland (D)

William McKinley (R)

Theodore Roosevelt (R)

William H. Taft (R)

Wilson  Woodrow (D)

Warren G. Harding (R)

Calvin Coolidge (R)

Herbert C. Hoover (R)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)

Harry S. Truman (D)

Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

John F. Kennedy (D)

Lyndon B. Johnson (D)

Richard M. Nixon (R)

 Gerald R. Ford (R)

James Earl Carter, Jr. (D)

Ronald Wilson Reagan (R)

George H. W. Bush (R)

William Jefferson Clinton (D)

George W. Bush (R)


 

*President for One Day

**President Confederate States of America

   

Current Order of Presidential Succession

The Vice President
Speaker of the House
President pro tempore of the Senate
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Defense
Attorney General
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Veterans Affairs

   

Research Links

Virtualology is not affiliated with the authors of these links nor responsible for its content.

 

Presidential Libraries

 

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

McKinley Memorial Library

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum - has research collections containing papers of Herbert Hoover and other 20th century leaders.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum - Repository of the records of President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt, managed by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library - preserves and makes available for research the papers, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia of Dwight and Mamie D. Eisenhower

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library

Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum

Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation

Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum

Jimmy Carter Library

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library - 40th President: 1981-1989.

George Bush Presidential Library
 


Start your search on Gerald R. Ford.


America's Four United Republics Exhibit - Click Here


Unauthorized Site: This site and its contents are not affiliated, connected, associated with or authorized by the individual, family, friends, or trademarked entities utilizing any part or the subject's entire name. Any official or affiliated sites that are related to this subject will be hyper linked below upon submission and Evisum, Inc. review.

Copyright© 2000 by Evisum Inc.TM. All rights reserved.
Evisum Inc.TM Privacy Policy

Search:

About Us

 

 

Image Use

Please join us in our mission to incorporate America's Four United Republics discovery-based curriculum into the classroom of every primary and secondary school in the United States of America by July 2, 2026, the nation’s 250th birthday. , the United States of America: We The People Click Here

 

Childhood & Family

Click Here

 

Historic Documents

Articles of Association

Articles of Confederation 1775

Articles of Confederation

Article the First

Coin Act

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Emancipation Proclamation

Gettysburg Address

Monroe Doctrine

Northwest Ordinance

No Taxation Without Representation

Thanksgiving Proclamations

Mayflower Compact

Treaty of Paris 1763

Treaty of Paris 1783

Treaty of Versailles

United Nations Charter

United States In Congress Assembled

US Bill of Rights

United States Constitution

US Continental Congress

US Constitution of 1777

US Constitution of 1787

Virginia Declaration of Rights

 

Historic Events

Battle of New Orleans

Battle of Yorktown

Cabinet Room

Civil Rights Movement

Federalist Papers

Fort Duquesne

Fort Necessity

Fort Pitt

French and Indian War

Jumonville Glen

Manhattan Project

Stamp Act Congress

Underground Railroad

US Hospitality

US Presidency

Vietnam War

War of 1812

West Virginia Statehood

Woman Suffrage

World War I

World War II

 

Is it Real?



Declaration of
Independence

Digital Authentication
Click Here

 

America’s Four Republics
The More or Less United States

 
Continental Congress
U.C. Presidents

Peyton Randolph

Henry Middleton

Peyton Randolph

John Hancock

  

Continental Congress
U.S. Presidents

John Hancock

Henry Laurens

John Jay

Samuel Huntington

  

Constitution of 1777
U.S. Presidents

Samuel Huntington

Samuel Johnston
Elected but declined the office

Thomas McKean

John Hanson

Elias Boudinot

Thomas Mifflin

Richard Henry Lee

John Hancock
[
Chairman David Ramsay]

Nathaniel Gorham

Arthur St. Clair

Cyrus Griffin

  

Constitution of 1787
U.S. Presidents

George Washington 

John Adams
Federalist Party


Thomas Jefferson
Republican* Party

James Madison 
Republican* Party

James Monroe
Republican* Party

John Quincy Adams
Republican* Party
Whig Party

Andrew Jackson
Republican* Party
Democratic Party


Martin Van Buren
Democratic Party

William H. Harrison
Whig Party

John Tyler
Whig Party

James K. Polk
Democratic Party

David Atchison**
Democratic Party

Zachary Taylor
Whig Party

Millard Fillmore
Whig Party

Franklin Pierce
Democratic Party

James Buchanan
Democratic Party


Abraham Lincoln 
Republican Party

Jefferson Davis***
Democratic Party

Andrew Johnson
Republican Party

Ulysses S. Grant 
Republican Party

Rutherford B. Hayes
Republican Party

James A. Garfield
Republican Party

Chester Arthur 
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland
Democratic Party

Benjamin Harrison
Republican Party

Grover Cleveland 
Democratic Party

William McKinley
Republican Party

Theodore Roosevelt
Republican Party

William H. Taft 
Republican Party

Woodrow Wilson
Democratic Party

Warren G. Harding 
Republican Party

Calvin Coolidge
Republican Party

Herbert C. Hoover
Republican Party

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Democratic Party

Harry S. Truman
Democratic Party

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Republican Party

John F. Kennedy
Democratic Party

Lyndon B. Johnson 
Democratic Party 

Richard M. Nixon 
Republican Party

Gerald R. Ford 
Republican Party

James Earl Carter, Jr. 
Democratic Party

Ronald Wilson Reagan 
Republican Party

George H. W. Bush
Republican Party 

William Jefferson Clinton
Democratic Party

George W. Bush 
Republican Party

Barack H. Obama
Democratic Party

Please Visit

Forgotten Founders
Norwich, CT

Annapolis Continental
Congress Society


U.S. Presidency
& Hospitality

© Stan Klos

 

 

 

 


Virtual Museum of Art | Virtual Museum of History | Virtual Public Library | Virtual Science Center | Virtual Museum of Natural History | Virtual War Museum