Profile of the Day: Betty Ford

Posted April 8, 2021 by Amanda | No Comment

Today we remember former First Lady Betty Ford on what would have been her 103rd birthday.

Image: Betty Ford / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Ford was born Elizabeth Ann Bloomer on April 8, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois. She was the third child and only daughter of William Stephenson Bloomer, Sr., a traveling salesman, and Hortense Neahr. While in school, Ford studied to become a dancer. In 1948, she married Gerald Ford, who was campaigning for what would be his first of thirteen terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

After Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President in 1973, President Richard Nixon appointed Gerald Ford to the position. When Nixon resigned a year later in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Gerald succeeded to the presidency as the 38th President of the United States. During her husband’s presidency, Ford was highly active in social policy. A passionate supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, she became known as one of the most politically active and candid First Ladies in history for her willingness to comment on hot button issues. She continued her social work long after leaving the White House. She spoke openly about her own struggles with addiction and in 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center, a rehabilitation center for individuals undergoing treatment for substance abuse and addiction. In 1991, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush.

Ford died on July 8, 2011 at the age of 93.

Explore Betty Ford’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected to the former First Lady.

View Betty Ford’s Geni Profile

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Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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