Gerald R. Ford's Life


The 38th President of the United States was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. on July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska. Though born in a different state, he was thoroughly a product of the city he grew up in: Grand Rapids.


Through the caring community and ethics of his hometown, the honest and hardworking values of his parents, and the discipline and support offered to him by academic and athletic opportunities, Gerald R. Ford's boyhood was formed, ready to meet the challenges that life would lay before him. Gerald Ford drew from the values and lessons of his youth as he restored the presidency in the wake of a scandal that left the nation reeling.


Jerry Ford's boyhood was marked by strong family ties, extracurricular activities, civic involvement, appreciation of nature, and eventually the competitive world of football and the gridiron. Each of these characteristics had a profound impression on the man that would eventually be president. Explore these aspects of the early life of Gerald R. Ford through the tabs and their submenus on the left, and see how Grand Rapids, and later the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, formed the man.

Jerry Ford as a high school senior, 1930. Note on back: "Dear Grandma: I am sending this picture so you may have a little something to remember your Grandson by in case you don’t come East again for several years.  It’s a fair likeness, but far too becoming for the original.  Hoping your good health will continue for ever, I remain, Lovingly yours, Junior"