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Elizabeth "Betty" Ford
Betty Ford, official White House photo color, 1974.jpg
1st Chairman of the Board, Betty Ford Center
In office
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Susan Ford
First Lady of the United States
In office
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
Preceded by Pat Nixon
Succeeded by Rosalynn Carter
Second Lady of the United States
In office
December 6, 1973 – August 9, 1974
Preceded by Judy Agnew
Succeeded by Happy Rockefeller
Personal details
Born (1918-04-08)April 8, 1918
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died July 8, 2011(2011-07-08) (aged 93)
Rancho Mirage, California, USA
Spouse(s) William G. Warren
(m. 1942-1947, divorced)
Gerald R. Ford
(m. 1948-2006, his death)
Children Michael, Jack, Steven, Susan
Parents William Stephenson Bloomer
Hortense Neahr
Occupation First Lady of the United States

Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren Ford (April 8, 1918 — July 8, 2011) was the widow of Gerald R. Ford, the 38th President of the United States. She was the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977.

Early life

She was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her birth name was Betty Bloomer. Her parents were Hortense Neahr and William Stephenson Bloomer. She was the third child of her parents. She had two older brothers named Robert and William, Jr. She spent her childhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from school there. In 1935, she graduated in dance from the Calla Travis Dance Studio. She gave dance lessons to earn money during the Great Depression.


Betty Bloomer married William G. (Bill) Warren, a furniture salesman. But the marriage did not last long. They divorced in 1947.

After that she started dating Gerald Ford. Ford was a good football player at his college, and a graduate of the University of Michigan and Yale Law School. They married on October 15, 1948. The Fords have three sons and one daughter:

Personal family

As of 2005, the Fords have seven grandchildren.

First Lady tenure

In 1974, President Richard Nixon resigned. Nixon had named Gerald Ford as the Vice President of the United States. After Nixon's resignation, Ford became the 38th President of the United States. Betty Ford became the First Lady.

As the First Lady, Betty Ford played an active role. She spoke on many issues. She spoke on political and many other things. She had an open mind, and spoke honestly about benefit of mild psychiatric treatment. She always supported women's rights. Her surgery for breast cancer made the public more aware of this disease.

After being First Lady

In 1987, Betty Ford found a place into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. In 1978, she published her autobiography The Times of My Life. In 1999, President Gerald Ford and Betty Ford jointly got the Congressional Gold Medal, "in recognition of their dedicated public service and outstanding humanitarian contributions to the people of the United States of America."

Personal life

In 2003, Betty Ford published Healing and Hope: Six Women from the Betty Ford Center Share Their Powerful Journeys of Addiction and Recovery.

She was the active Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Betty Ford Center, until 2005, when she gave that position to her daughter, Susan.


Betty Ford died on July 8, 2011 with her family by her bed.

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