Gerald R. Ford
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Gerald R. Ford - Facts and Favorites
Note: Information drawn from Gerald R. Ford Library staff knowledge
and the Library's Vertical File.

Born: July 14, 1913, Omaha, Nebraska. Moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1914.

Died: December 26, 2006, Rancho Mirage, California.

Personal Data: Height - 6 Feet; Hair - Blond; Eyes - Blue

Ancestry: English

Religion: Episcopalian

Grade Schools:

Madison Elementary School; East Grand Rapids Elementary School.

Boy Scouts: Attained rank of Eagle Scout.

High School:
Grand Rapids South High School, Class of 1931.  Member of National Honor Society, Varsity Letter Club, Glee Club, Student Council, Latin Club, and Hi-Y (High School YMCA).  Participated in football, basketball, and track.  Earned all-city and all-state honors in football.

Assorted Summer and Miscellaneous Jobs:
Filled and cleaned paint cans in family paint business; mowed lawns; handled concessions at an amusement park; washed dishes and grilled hamburgers in a restaurant; Park Ranger, Yellowstone National Park; washed dishes in college fraternity house; model.

B.A., University of Michigan, Class of 1935.  Majored in economics.  Member of Michagamua (senior men's honor society), Sphinx (junior men's honor society), Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Interfraternity Council, and Student Council.  Played center and linebacker on U-M football team.  Started at center and named team MVP in senior year.  Played in East-West College All-Star game and Chicago Tribune College All-Star game.  Did not earn All-America honors as is popularly believed.  Received contract offers from the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions (which Ford turned down in favor of law school).

Law School:
LL.B., Yale University Law School, Class of 1941.  Member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, and worked as assistant football coach and freshman boxing coach.

Occupation: Attorney.

Military Service:
During the attack on Pearl Harbor Gerald Ford lived in Grand Rapids and practiced law.  He joined the US Navy in 1942 and remained on active duty until 1946.  Ford served aboard the USS Monterey and was discharged with the rank of Lt. Commander.  He received the following medals and awards: the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-American Campaign Medal with one silver star and four bronze stars, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two bronze stars.  Ford remained in the Naval Reserves until 1963. 

Elizabeth Bloomer Warren (b. April 8, 1918), October 15, 1948, at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids. Wedding reception held at Kent Country Club.

Michael Gerald (b. March 14, 1950), John (Jack) Gardner (b. March 16, 1952, Steven Meigs (b. May 19, 1956), Susan Elizabeth (b. July 6, 1957).

Served Grand Rapids and Kent County in United States House of Representatives, 1949-1973.  House Minority Leader, 1965-1973.

Vice President:
Succeeded Spiro Agnew as Richard Nixon's Vice President following Agnew's resignation.  Confirmed on December 6, 1973.

Sworn-in as President (at the age of 61 years, 26 days) following Richard Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974.  Selected Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President.  Left office on January 20, 1977, following general election loss to Jimmy Carter.

Presidential Pets:
Liberty, Golden Retriever; Misty, Golden Retriever (Liberty's off-spring); Shan Shein, Siamese Cat.


President Ford's Favorites

Hobby: stamp collecting
Breakfast: orange juice, melon, English muffins, and tea with lemon
Food: pot roast and red cabbage (for recipes see The White House Family Cookbook by Henry Haller (New York: Random House, 1987, pp. 176-179)
Dessert: butter pecan ice cream
Hymn: The Navy Hymn - "Eternal Father Strong to Save"
Drink: coffee, iced tea
Color: red
Participatory Sport: golf, tennis, skiing, swimming
Sports Figure: Al Kaline, Detroit Tigers
Parlor Game: bridge
Flower: apple blossom, azalea
Dance: ballroom
Music: jazz, swing
Book: non-fiction contemporary history
Weather: sunshine on golf course, snow on ski slopes
Place to Visit: Vail, Colorado
Time of Day, Season: dawn, all seasons
Hero: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Most Unforgettable Moment: Noon, August 9, 1974, when sworn in as President.
Most Valued Advice: "That which comes from my wife."
Memberships: American Legion (Furniture City Post No. 258), Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, 33rd Degree Mason

Last Updated: April 10, 2007