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Betty Ford
Original name: Elizabeth Ann Bloomer
Birth: Apr. 8, 1918
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jul. 8, 2011
Rancho Mirage
Riverside County
California, USA

US Presidential First Lady. Wife of 38th President Gerald R. Ford, served as First Lady from Aug. 8, 1974 to Jan 20, 1977. From the age of two, Betty lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she attended grammar and high school. In addition to a traditional education, she studied tap dance, ballet and modern movement. Dance became her passion and early on in life she intended to pursue it as her profession, studying dance at the Calla Travis Dance Studio. At age 14 she began modeling clothes and teaching dance to children. After graduating from high school, she attended the Bennington School of Dance in Bennington, Vermont for two summers. When she was accepted by Martha Graham as a student, she moved to New York, New York and worked as a fashion model for the John Robert Powers agency to finance her dance studies. She studied with Martha Graham and briefly performed with the Martha Graham Dance Troup. At her mother's urging, she returned to Grand Rapids, Michigan and obtained a job as assistant to the fashion coordinator of a local department store. She also organized her own dance group and taught dance in Grand Rapids. In 1942 she married William C. Warren and divorced five years later. On October 15, 1948 Betty married Gerald R. Ford, and was married to him for 58 years. They were the parents of four children. Following a mastectomy in 1974, she became active in raising breast cancer awareness. She was an outspoken advocate of women's rights and supported the proposed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In the matter of abortion, she was also unapologetically pro-choice and gained fame as one of the most candid first ladies in history. In 1978, the Ford family staged an intervention and forced her to confront her alcoholism and an addiction to prescription pain medication. After her recovery, in 1982 she and Ambassador Leonard Firestone founded the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California. She was the author of "Times of My Life" (1978), "Betty: A Glad Awakening" (1987), and "Healing and Hope: Six Women From the Betty Ford Center Share Their Powerful Journey of Addiction and Recovery" (2003). In 1991, Betty and her husband Gerald R. Ford were co-awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 1998. (bio by: Priscilla) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Stevenson Bloomer (1876 - 1934)
  Hortense B Neahr Godwin (1884 - 1948)
 
 Spouse:
  Gerald Rudolph Ford (1913 - 2006)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Gerald R. Ford Museum
Grand Rapids
Kent County
Michigan, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Aug 09, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7748438
Betty Ford
Added by: The Perplexed Historian
 
Betty Ford
Added by: Soorus
 
Betty Ford
Added by: Soorus
 
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REST IN HEAVENLY PEACE MADAM FIRST LADY...
- MIKE ROUW
 Added: Apr. 11, 2014
Happy 96th Birthday! Betty Ford. You were a wonderful First Lady and you'll never be forgotten. Rest in peace.
- Chris Mc Evoy
 Added: Apr. 8, 2014

-Anonymous
 Added: Apr. 8, 2014
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Current ranking for this person: (4.7 after 388 votes)
 

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