Gerald R. Ford

38th President Gerald R. Ford, 1974-197738th President Gerald R. Ford, 1974-197738th President Gerald R. Ford, 1974-197738th President Gerald R. Ford, 1974-197738th President Gerald R. Ford, 1974-1977

38th President Gerald R. Ford, 1974-1977

38th President of the United States
(August 9, 1974 to January 20, 1977)

Full Name: Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.)
Nickname: "Jerry"

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

Father: Leslie Lynch King, Sr. (1884-1941)
Stepfather: Gerald Rudolff Ford (1890-1962)
Mother: Dorothy Ayer Gardner King Ford (1892-1967)
Married: Elizabeth "Betty" Bloomer Warren (1918-2011), on October 15, 1948
Children: Michael Gerald Ford (1950- ); John "Jack" Gardner Ford (1952- ); Steven Meigs Ford (1956- ); Susan Elizabeth Ford (1957- )

Religion: Episcopalian
Education: Graduated from the University of Michigan (1935) and Yale University Law School (1941)
Occupation: Lawyer, public official
Political Party: Republican
Other Government Positions:

  • Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1949-73
  • Vice President, 1973-74 (under Nixon)

Presidential Salary: $200,000/year + $50,000 expense account

Presidential Election Results:

YearCandidatePopular VotesElectoral Votes
1976Jimmy Carter40,827,394297
(map)Gerald R. Ford39,145,977240
Ronald Reagan1

Vice President: Nelson A. Rockefeller (1974-77)


Secretary of State
Henry A. Kissinger (1974-77)
Secretary of the Treasury
William E. Simon (1974-77)
Secretary of Defense
James R. Schlesinger (1974-75)
Donald H. Rumsfeld (1975-77)
Attorney General
William B. Saxbe (1974-75)
Edward H. Levi (1975-77)
Secretary of the Interior
Rogers C. B. Morton (1974-75)
Stanley K. Hathaway (1975)
Thomas S. Kleppe (1975-77)
Secretary of Agriculture
Earl L. Butz (1974-76)
John A. Knebel (1976-77)
Secretary of Commerce
Frederick B. Dent (1974-75)
Rogers C. B. Morton (1975)
Elliot L. Richardson (1976-77)
Secretary of Labor
Peter J. Brennan (1974-75)
John T. Dunlop (1975-76)
William J. Usery, Jr. (1976-77)
Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
Caspar W. Weinberger (1974-75)
F. David Mathews (1975-77)
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
James T. Lynn (1974-75)
Carla Anderson Hills (1975-77)
Secretary of Transportation
Claude S. Brinegar (1974-75)
William T. Coleman, Jr. (1975-77)

Supreme Court Justices:
John Paul Stevens (1975-2010)

Notable Events:
  • 1974
  • 1975
    • On April 30, Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese. Ford ordered the evacuation of the remaining Americans and troops effectively ending the Vietnam War.
    • Within 18 days in September Ford escaped two assassination attempts in Sacramento and San Francisco.
Internet Biographies:
Gerald R. Ford -- from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
Gerald Ford -- from The American President
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.
Gerald Ford -- from Encyclopaedia Britannica
Facts about Ford and his presidency.
Gerald R. Ford Biography -- from Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum
This six-part biography covers the time from his youth through his presidency.
Gerald R. Ford -- from Character Above All
From a PBS broadcast of the same name, this essay excerpt by James M. Cannon discusses some of the issues and events that molded Ford.
Gerald R. Ford, 40th Vice President -- from The United States Senate
The Senate Historical Office presents a biographical article that examines his early years, congressional leadership, and his presidency.
Gerald R. Ford Obituary -- from The Washington Post
Detailed obituary about Ford and his presidency.
Other Internet Resources:
The Best Biographies of Gerald Ford
In 2012, Stephen Floyd started his search for the best biography of each president. He usually has reviews of multiple biographies for each president.
Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center and Birthsite
Conservation of papers, objects, and paintings related to Ford or anyone else. There are also gardens at the birthsite.
Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum
The library is located on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The museum is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan where President and Mrs. Ford are buried.
Gerald Ford as President
Brief history of the Ford administration from From Revolution to Reconstruction.
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Fosters increased awareness of Ford through activities, conferences, and exhibits.
Health and Medical History of Gerald Ford
Medical background of each president with references. Compiled by John Sotos, MD.
Points of Interest:

3202 Woolworth Ave, Omaha, NE 68105

1000 Beal Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Additional Facts:
  • Ford was the first president to be an Eagle Scout.
  • Ford was on the University of Michigan football team from 1931 to 1934. He was offered NFL contracts by both the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions.
  • Both Ford and his wife, Betty, had been models before their marriage.
  • When Ford proposed to his wife, he was wearing one brown & one black shoe.
  • Running for Congress in 1948, Ford campaigned on his wedding day.
  • Ford was one of the members of the Warren Commission appointed to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
  • One night, Ford was locked out of the White House while walking his golden retriever, Liberty. The Secret Service finally let him in.
  • Ford's daughter Susan held her senior prom at the White House.
  • He was the first president to release to the public a full report of his medical checkup.
  • Ford was the first president to visit Japan and Finland while in office.
  • Ford was the only president whose two assassination attempts against him were made by women.
  • Gerald Ford was the first president not elected by the people to become president. He became vice president when Nixon's elected vice president, Spiro T. Agnew, resigned. Then became president when Nixon resigned.
  • Ford was the first president to pardon a former president.

“Truth is the glue that holds governments together. Compromise is the oil that makes governments go.”

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

“My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”

Previous President: Richard M. Nixon
Next President: Jimmy Carter