Introduction - Gerald FordPresident Gerald Ford, was a member of the Republican Party, and was the 38th President of the United States of America. He rose to the position of vice-president in 1973 upon the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew and rose from vice-president to president upon Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974. He is the only person to have been both Vice President and President of the United States without having been elected to either office. He is perhaps best known for granting a presidential pardon to former President Richard Nixon for his participation in the Watergate scandal; a scandal that prompted Nixon's resignation. Below is a list of interesting facts about Gerald Ford including why he pardoned Richard Nixon, what accomplishments he had during his presidency, and how he rose to the most powerful position in the U.S. government. This information is written for both kids and adults.
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President Gerald Ford Quick Facts
- Gerald Ford was born Leslie Lynch King Jr., on July 14th of 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska.
- He was the 38th President of the U.S. serving from President Richard Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974 up until January 20, 1977.
- On October 15th of 1948 Gerald Ford married Elizabeth Bloomer Warren; together they had four children.
Interesting President Gerald Ford Facts
- Gerald Ford's mother was Dorothy Ayer Gardner, and his father was Leslie Lynch King. They divorced in December of 1913 and his mother gained full custody of him.
- His mother got remarried in 1916 to Gerald Rudolff Ford and the couple began calling their son Gerald Rudolff Ford Jr., as opposed to his birth name of Leslie Lynch King. Ford did not legally change his name until December 3rd of 1935.
- He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- As a boy Ford joined the Boy Scouts of America where he eventually became an Eagle Scout; the organizations highest rank. Several hundred Eagle Scouts were part of the honor guard at his funeral procession.
- He attended the University of Michigan where he was a football star leading the school to undefeated seasons and national championships in 1932 and 1933.
- In 1935 he graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.
- Ford was such a good football player that two National Football League teams, the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers, offered him contracts. He turned down the professional football offers and accepted a coaching position at Yale and was eventually accepted into their law school.
- After graduating Yale Law School in 1941 he opened a law practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his friend Philip W. Buchen, who would serve as White House counsel during Ford's presidency.
- In April of 1942, after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Ford enlisted in the Navy. He served on the aircraft carrier USS Monterey which saw action in the Pacific Theater. After the war he resigned from the Navy.
- Ford became active in Republican politics and in 1948 ran for and won a seat in the U.S. Congress.
- Before becoming Vice President he served 13 terms in Congress representing Michigan's 5th congressional district. For eight of his terms in Congress he served as the House Minority Leader.
- In November of 1963 President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Ford to the Warren Commission, a special task force that investigated the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.
- When Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973, due to criminal charges involving money laundering and tax evasion, Ford was nominated to take his place as vice president.
- When President Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9th of 1974 Ford was sworn in as the 38th President of the United States.
President Gerald Ford Presidency Facts
- On September 8th of 1974 President Ford gave former President Richard Nixon a full pardon for any crimes he might have committed while President. This action angered many who thought the former president should be held accountable for his actions in the Watergate scandal.
- In 1975 President Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, an act signed by numerous countries addressing several global issues. This act was considered a major step towards reducing Cold War tensions. Ford regarded this as his most important foreign policy achievement.
- Gerald Ford survived two assassination attempts while president. Both assassination attempts occurred in California and were just a few days apart. The first attempt was on September 5, 1975 when a women aimed a gun at Ford that misfired. The second attempt was seventeen days later in San Francisco when a woman fired at the president narrowly missing him before she was subdued.
- During Ford's presidential term the country entered into the worst recession in decades.
- In 1976 Ford won the Republican Presidential Primary beating out former California Governor and future U.S. president Ronald Reagan.
- During Ford's presidency South Vietnam fell to North Vietnam therefore ending the Vietnamese War.
- He lost the presidential election of 1976 to Democrat Jimmy Carter.
- One of Gerald Ford's quotes is "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."
- He served as president for 895 days; the shortest term of any U.S. president who did not die while in office.
- He died on December 26th of 2006 of cerebrovascular disease and diffuse arteriosclerosis.
- Gerald Ford lived longer than any other U.S. president, 93 years and 165 days.