GERALD R. FORD

38th U.S. President 1974-1977
LIFETIME: 1913-2006, of English ancestry


Gerald Ford homes

BIRTHPLACE: 3202 Woolworth Avenue , Omaha Nebraska - a Queen Anne mansion built in 1893, this house was destroyed by fire in 1971
PHOTO CREDIT: WATERCOLOR of Ford's birthplace in Omaha , NE , Gerald Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor MI

PRIMARY HOME (center two photos): "Thunderbird Estates," Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs CA - a spacious home on the grounds of the Thunderbird Country Club
PHOTO CREDIT: Internet website for Thunderbird Estates in California

BAPTISMAL DRESS of Gerald Ford Jr. (then named Leslie Lynch King Jr.), 1913
Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids MI

PHOTOGRAPH of Gerald Ford Jr. (then named Leslie Lynch King Jr.) and his mother Dorothy Ayer Gardner King on his baptismal day, September 1913
Gerald Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor MI


At birth, the 38 th U.S. president was christened Leslie King by parents struggling with their marriage. After the Kings' divorce, his mother was remarried in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Gerald R. Ford who adopted and renamed her infant. In the dark about his early years, a 16-year-old Jerry Ford was shocked when a stranger approached him to say, "Leslie, I'm your father."

Ford starred in college football, studied law at Yale, and joined the Navy during World War II. Elected to Congress in 1948, he moved to Washington with his new bride, Elizabeth Bloomer. For the next 25 years, Congressman and Betty Ford raised their growing family in Alexandria, Virginia.

Gerald Ford was selected as Vice President by Richard Nixon in 1973. A year later the besieged president resigned from office, and it was up to President Ford to restore the public's confidence in government. After the presidency, the Fords retired in 1977 to a new home near Palm Springs, California.

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