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Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford presidential portrait (cropped).jpg
Official portrait, 1974
38th President of the United States
In office
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
Vice President
Preceded byRichard Nixon
Succeeded byJimmy Carter
40th Vice President of the United States
In office
December 6, 1973 – August 9, 1974
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded bySpiro Agnew
Succeeded byNelson Rockefeller
House Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 1965 – December 6, 1973
DeputyLeslie C. Arends
Preceded byCharles A. Halleck
Succeeded byJohn Jacob Rhodes
Leader of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 1965 – December 6, 1973
Deputy
Preceded byCharles A. Halleck
Succeeded byJohn Jacob Rhodes
Chair of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1965
LeaderCharles A. Halleck
Preceded byCharles B. Hoeven
Succeeded byMelvin Laird
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1949 – December 6, 1973
Preceded byBartel J. Jonkman
Succeeded byRichard Vander Veen
Personal details
Born
Leslie Lynch King Jr.

(1913-07-14)July 14, 1913
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
DiedDecember 26, 2006(2006-12-26) (aged 93)
Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.
Resting placeGerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)
(m. 1948)
Children
Parents
Education
Signature
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1942–1946
RankUS Navy O4 infobox.svg Lieutenant commander
Battles/warsWorld War II
Awards
College football career
Michigan Wolverines – No. 48
PositionCenter
Class1935
MajorEconomics
Career history
Bowl gamesEast–West Shrine Game (1935)
High schoolGrand Rapids South
Career highlights and awards

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (/ˈɛrəld/;[1] 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 1974 to 1977. A member of the Republican Party, Ford previously served as the 40th vice president of the United States from 1973 to 1974. To date, Ford is the only person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected to either office by the Electoral College.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Ford attended the University of Michigan and Yale Law School. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving from 1942 to 1946; he left as a lieutenant commander. Ford began his political career in 1949 as the U.S. representative from Michigan's 5th congressional district. He served in this capacity for 25 years, the final nine of them as the House Minority Leader. In December 1973, two months after the resignation of Spiro Agnew, Ford became the first person appointed to the vice presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment by President Richard Nixon. After the subsequent resignation of President Nixon in August 1974, Ford immediately assumed the presidency. To date, this was the last intra-term U.S. presidential succession.

As president, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, which marked a move toward détente in the Cold War. With the collapse of South Vietnam nine months into his presidency, U.S. involvement in Vietnam essentially ended. Domestically, Ford presided over the worst economy in the four decades since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure.[2] In one of his most controversial acts, he granted a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal. During Ford's presidency, foreign policy was characterized in procedural terms by the increased role Congress began to play, and by the corresponding curb on the powers of the President.[3] In the Republican presidential primary campaign of 1976, Ford defeated former California Governor Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination. He narrowly lost the presidential election to the Democratic challenger, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter. Surveys of historians and political scientists have ranked Ford as a below-average president.[4][5][6]

Following his years as president, Ford remained active in the Republican Party. His moderate views on various social issues increasingly put him at odds with conservative members of the party in the 1990s and early 2000s. In retirement, Ford set aside the enmity he had felt towards Carter following the 1976 election, and the two former presidents developed a close friendship. After experiencing a series of health problems, he died at home on December 26, 2006.

  1. ^ "President Ford Inaugural Ceremony". C-SPAN.org. C-SPAN. August 9, 1974. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  2. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York City: Basic Books. pp. xxiii, 301. ISBN 978-0-465-04195-4.
  3. ^ George Lenczowski (1990). American Presidents, and the Middle East. Duke University Press. pp. 142–143. ISBN 978-0-8223-0972-7.
  4. ^ "Lincoln Wins: Honest Abe tops new presidential survey". CNN. February 16, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  5. ^ "Presidential Historians Survey 2017". C-SPAN. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  6. ^ "Presidents 2018 Rank by Category" (PDF). Retrieved December 2, 2020.

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