Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Well done, thy good and faithful servant: President Gerald R. Ford (July 14, 1913 — December 26, 2006)
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (July 14, 1913 — December 26, 2006) was the 38th (1974–1977) President of the United States. Ford also served as the 40th (1973–1974) Vice President. He was the first person appointed to the Vice-Presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment, and upon succession to the presidency became the first (and to date, only) president in U.S. history to fill that office without having been elected either President or Vice-President. He is also the longest-lived United States president ever, having surpassed Ronald Reagan's record on November 12, 2006.
Ford was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He was originally named Leslie Lynch King, Jr., after his biological father. His parents divorced when he was less than a year old, and when his mother remarried, he was given the name of his step-father, Gerald Rudolff Ford. He later changed the spelling of the middle name. Ford obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, where he was a football star. He went on to obtain a law degree from Yale University before serving in the United States Navy during World War II. Returning from the war confirmed "internationalist", Republican Ford defeated the incumbent in the party primary and was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1948, representing the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. He was elected House Minority Leader in 1963 and served in the House until 1973. When Spiro Agnew resigned, Ford was appointed Vice President of the United States at the height of the Watergate scandal, which eventually led to Richard Nixon's resignation.