The official portrait of Betty Ford
The official portrait of Betty Ford
 
 
Betty Ford, age 3
Betty Ford, age 3
 
 
Betty (center) at a dance recital
Betty (center) at a dance recital
 
 
Wedding picutre of Betty and Gerry Ford
Wedding picutre of Betty and Gerry Ford
 
 
The official photo of Betty Ford
The official photo of Betty Ford
 
 
First lady Betty and President Gerry Ford
First lady Betty and President Gerry Ford
 
 
The Ford Family
The Ford Family
 
#38 Ford, Betty
Topic(s):   First Ladies (U.S.)
Quick Facts
Full Name Elizabeth (Betty) Anne Bloomer Ford
Born April 8, 1918 (Chicago, Illinois)
Died July 8, 2011 (Rancho Mirage, California)
Nationality American
First Lady Number 38
Dates in the White House August 9, 1974 to January 20, 1977
Occupation(s) dancer, dance teacher, retail manager, model, author
Major Achievement(s) championed education; treatment for drug and alcohol abuse; supported equal rights for women

Elizabeth (Betty) Anne Bloomer Betty had a happy childhood. She grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Betty was one of three children. She played football and hockey with her two brothers. Betty began dance lessons at age eight.

After college, she became a professional dancer. She was in a dance group in New York City. She was also a fashion model. Betty first married in 1942. That marriage did not last. She divorced in 1947.

Betty married Gerry Ford in 1948. She became a busy wife and mother. The Fords had four children. Gerry became an important member of the Republican Party.

The Fords planned to retire but Gerry was asked to become vice-president. He took office when there were many political scandals. Soon President Nixon quit and Gerry Ford became the new president.

Betty was thrilled to be First Lady. She supported the arts and women’s rights. Betty needed surgery for breast cancer. She told the press about it. Her openness helped other women. Betty said, Being ladylike does not require silence.

Betty was sad when Gerry did not win re-election. She became addicted to pain pills and alcohol. She received treatment and recovered. Later she started the Betty Ford Treatment Center. She was admired for speaking openly.

Resource information

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/grf/bbfbiop.asp

Klapthor, M. B., Black, A. M., White House Historical Association, & National Geographic Society (U.S.). (1999). The First Ladies. Washington, DC: White House Historical Association with the cooperation of the National Geographic Society.

Mayo, E. (1996). The Smithsonian book of the first ladies: Their lives, times, and issues. New York: H. Holt.

Schneider, D., & Schneider, C. J. (2001). First ladies: A biographical dictionary. New York: Facts on File.

Citation information

APA Style:        Betty Ford. (2017, February). Retrieved from Facts4Me at http://www.facts4me.com

MLA Style:       "Betty Ford." Facts4Me. Feb. 2017. http://www.facts4me.com.

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