Gerald Ford (1913 – 2006) [cite this] More images » Life in Brief: Gerald R. Ford became President of the United States on August 9, 1974, under extraordinary circumstances. Owing to the Watergate scandal, Ford's predecessor, Richard Nixon, had resigned under the threat of congressional impeachment. Ford assumed… more life in brief » Essays about Gerald Ford Life in Brief Life in Brief: Gerald R. Ford became President of the United States on August 9, 1974, under extraordinary circumstances. Owing to the Watergate scandal, Ford's predecessor, Richard Nixon, had resigned under the threat of congressional impeachment. Ford assumed leadership of a nation whose domestic economy and… Life Before the Presidency Life Before the Presidency: The only President in the history of the United States not elected by American voters was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., in Omaha, Nebraska, on July 14, 1913. His mother, Dorothy Ayer Gardner, soon divorced the boy's father—a wife-beating alcoholic—and moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ther… Campaigns and Elections Campaigns and Elections: The 1976 Republican Primary: Before President Gerald Ford could take on a Democrat in the 1976 presidential election, he first needed to secure the Republican nomination. This task proved surprisingly difficult because of the primary challenge launched by former governor of California, Ronald Reaga…Domestic Affairs Domestic Affairs: After taking the oath of office to become the thirty-eighth President of the United States, Gerald Ford forthrightly declared, "Our long national nightmare is over." With this simple statement, the new President both recognized the anguish caused by Watergate and indicated that he inte…Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs: Gerald Ford inherited Richard Nixon's foreign policies and his foreign policy advisers. While Ford had not developed an expertise in American foreign relations as a congressman or as vice president, he was generally familiar with the major international issues facing the country. Thus, Ford was …Life After the Presidency Life After the Presidency: Following his defeat in the 1976 presidential election, Gerald Ford retired to Rancho Mirage, California. Thereafter, Ford appeared frequently in public as a speaker, lecturing for private audiences and on university campuses. In his post-presidential years, Ford wrote a number of books, includi…Family Life Family Life: President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty Ford, had three sons and one daughter. The First Family struck many Americans as fun, energetic, youthful, and, above all, normal—traits that added to the American public's comfort level with Ford, a man the people had not elected as their President. …The American Franchise The American Franchise: The United States observed its 200th birthday in the summer of 1976. The great celebrations that marked the occasion contrasted sharply with President Ford's assessment of the state of the union eighteen months earlier, which he described bluntly as "not good." These widely divergent s…Impact and Legacy Impact and Legacy: Gerald Ford's presidency must be assessed in light of both the exceptional circumstances under which Ford assumed office and the severe challenges he faced during those years. Ford was not elected President (or vice president) by the American public; he became President in 1974 only after Richar… About His Administration First Lady Elizabeth "Betty" Ford Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger (1974–1977) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (1975–1977) James R. Schlesinger (1974–1975) Secretary of the Interior Thomas S. Kleppe (1975–1977) Stanley K. Hathaway (1975) Rogers C. B. Morton (1974–1975) Attorney General William B. Saxbe (1974–1975) Edward H. Levi (1975–1977) Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon (1974–1977) Secretary of Labor W. J. Usery, Jr. (1976–1977) John T. Dunlop (1975–1976) Peter J. Brennan (1974–1975) Secretary of Commerce Elliot L. Richardson (1976–1977) Rogers C. B. Morton (1975–1976) Frederick B. Dent (1974–1975) Secretary of Agriculture John A. Knebel (1976–1977) Earl Butz (1974–1976) Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Caspar W. Weinberger (1974–1975) F. David Matthews (1975–1977) Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Carla Anderson Hills (1975–1977) James T. Lynn (1974–1975) Secretary of Transportion William T. Coleman, Jr. (1975–1977) Claude S. Brinegar (1974–1975) Facts about Gerald Ford Term: 38th President of the United States (1974 – 1977) Born: July 14, 1913, Omaha, Nebraska Political Party: Republican Died: December 26, 2006 Nickname: “Jerry” Education: University of Michigan (1935); Yale University Law School (1941) Religion: Episcopalian Marriage: October 15, 1948, to Elizabeth "Betty" Bloomer Warren (1918–2011) Children: Michael Gerald (1950– ); John Gardner (1952– ); Steven Meigs (1956– ); Susan Elizabeth (1957– ) Career: Lawyer, Public Official Buried: Grand Rapids, Michigan WritingsPortrait of the Assassin with John R. Stiles (1965), A Time to Heal (1979), Humor and the Presidency (1987) Gerald Ford Image Gallery More images » Explore Ford’s Presidential Daily Diary from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. Citation Information Consulting Editor John Robert Greene Professor Greene is the Paul J. Schupf Professor of History and Humanities at Cazenovia College. His writings include: Presidential Profiles: The Nixon-Ford Years (Facts-On-File, 2006) Betty Ford: Candor and Courage in the White House (University Press of Kansas, 2004) The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford (University Press of Kansas, 1995) Gerald R. Ford: A Bibliography (Greenwood Press, 1994) Jimmy Carter » « Richard Nixon American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!