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President Gerald Ford

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) served as the 38th President of the United States from 1974 to 1977. He is the only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the United States without being elected to either office. As he was appointed to fill a vacancy and then succeeded to the presidency, Ford also earned the distinction of being the only person in American history to neither begin nor finish either a presidential or vice presidential term on the date of a regularly-scheduled inauguration. Before vice-presidency, Ford served 25 years as Representative from Michigan's 5th congressional district, the final 9 of them as the House Minority Leader. Ford's reputation for integrity and openness had made him popular during his 25 years in Congress.
When Gerald R. Ford took the oath of office on August 9, 1974, he declared, "I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances.... This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts."
As President, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, marking a move toward détente in the Cold War. With the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam nine months into his presidency, U.S. involvement in Vietnam essentially ended. Ford acted vigorously to maintain U. S. power and prestige after the collapse of Cambodia and South Vietnam. Domestically, Ford presided over the worst economy in the four decades since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure. He granted a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal.
In the GOP presidential primary campaign of 1976, Ford defeated then-former California Governor Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination. He narrowly lost the presidential election to the Democratic challenger, then-former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, on November 2.
Following his years as President, Ford remained active in the Republican Party. He died on December 26, 2006 and lived longer than any other U.S. president, 93 years and 165 days.
"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our constitution works."
President Gerald R. Ford Reading a Newspaper during His Christmas Vacation Trip to Vail, Colorado
718 Media in collectionpage 1 of 8

Photograph of Lieutenant Commander Gerald R. Ford, Jr., Showing His Parents a Map of the Pacific Theater after Returning from Active Duty

This photograph depicts Lt. Commander Gerald Ford, Jr., showing his parents Dorothy Gardner Ford and Gerald R. Ford, Sr., a map of the Pacific Theater at their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is indicating t... more

Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, left, talks with Representative Gerald R. Ford (R-Michigan) prior to a meeting with the House Committee on Defense Appropriations at the Capitol

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Washington State: District Of Columbia (DC) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: PHC Ralph Seghers Release Status: Rel... more

Photograph of the Warren Commission Presenting the Final Report to President Lyndon B. Johnson Inscribed to Gerald R. Ford by the President

This photograph depicts Chief Justice Earl Warren presenting the final report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (Warren Commission) to President Lyndon B. Johnson. They are... more

Photograph of Congressman Gerald R. Ford Cutting the Cake at His 59th Birthday Party

This photograph depicts Gerald R. Ford cutting a large, multi-tiered cake in front of a group of people including Betty Ford. He is in a wheelchair following an operation for his "football" knee. Gerald R. Ford... more

Vice President Gerald R. Ford Talks with Reporters Following President Richard Nixon's Announcement That He Will Resign

This photograph depicts Vice President Gerald R. Ford standing with his press secretary Paul Miltich and talking to several reporters on the front lawn of his house at 514 Crown View Drive in Alexandria, Virgin... more

[President Gerald Ford meeting with the National Security Council in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Washington, D.C.]

Photographic negative showing President Ford seated at a table with William E. Colby, Director of CIA; Robert S. Ingersoll, Deputy Secretary of State; Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State; James R. Schlesinger, ... more

[President Gerald Ford meeting with George Meany in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, D.C.]

Photographic negative showing President Ford seated at a desk with George Meany, president of AFL-CIO.

Photograph of the First Meeting between President Gerald Ford, Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, and the Delegations in the Conference Hall at Okeansky Sanatorium, Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, and Others Attending a Late Night Meeting that Extended into the Early Hours of November 24 at the Vladivostok Summit

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev upon Ford's Arrival at Vozdvizhenka Air Base, near Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Conferring on the Train Ride to Vladivostok

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Walking to the Summit Meeting Room at Okeansky Sanatorium in Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, General Secretary Lenoid Brezhnev, and Others Attending a Meeting on the Second Day of the Vladivostok Summit Meetings on Arms Control

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of Gerald R. Ford and His Family in the Oval Office prior to His Swearing-in as 38th President of the United States

This photograph depicts the Ford family in the Oval Office, from left to right Jack Ford, Steve Ford, Betty Ford, Gerald R. Ford, Susan Ford, Gayle Ford (Mrs. Michael Ford), and Mike Ford. Gerald R. Ford White ... more

President Gerald R. Ford Meeting with the President's Commission on Olympic Sports in the Cabinet Room

This photograph depicts President Gerald R. Ford and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare F. David Mathews meeting with the members of the President's Commission on Olympic Sports in the Cabinet Room at ... more

President Gerald R. Ford Standing with the Team Captains Prior to the Start of the 75th Army-Navy Football Game

This photograph depicts President Gerald R. Ford and others standing with their hands over their hearts for the National Anthem prior to the start of the 75th Army-Navy football game at John F. Kennedy Stadium ... more

Representatives From the National Turkey Foundation Presenting President Gerald R. Ford with a Thanksgiving Turkey

This photograph depicts the presentation ceremony of a Thanksgiving turkey to President Ford in the White House Rose Garden. Pictured from left are Jim Shepard; President Ford; Mrs. Shepard; W.H. Shepard, Jr., ... more

President Gerald R. Ford Receiving the AMVETS [American Veterans] Gold Helmet Award in the White House Rose Garden

This photograph depicts Thomas J. McDonough, National Commander of AMVETS (American Veterans), presenting President Ford with the AMVETS Gold Helmet Award in the Rose Garden at the White House. Standing around ... more

Cat Wearing a Ford's My Man Sign at a Campaign Rally for President Gerald R. Ford

This photograph was taken at a campaign rally for President Gerald R. Ford held outside the Rockland County Courthouse in New York, New York. Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs

Cat Wearing a Ford's My Man Sign at a Campaign Rally for President Gerald R. Ford

This photograph was taken at a campaign rally for President Gerald R. Ford held outside the Rockland County Courthouse in New York, New York. Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs

President Gerald R. Ford Waving to the Crowd at His Arrival at Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts

This photograph was taken from behind President Ford as he exited Air Force One. Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs

First Lady Betty Ford and Susan Ford Holding Puppies at President Gerald R. Ford and Mrs. Ford's Anniversary Party

This photograph depicts Betty Ford and Susan Ford holding several of the puppies from their family dog Liberty's litter. It was taken during President and Mrs. Ford's 27th wedding anniversary party. Gerald R. F... more

Guests Holding Puppies at an Anniversary Party for President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford

This photograph depicts guests at President and Mrs. Ford's 27th wedding anniversary holding two of the puppies from the Ford family dog Liberty's litter. Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs

Susan Ford, Donald Rumsfeld, and Other Guests Playing with Puppies at an Anniversary Party for President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford

This photograph depicts guests at President and Mrs. Ford's 27th wedding anniversary playing with four of the puppies from the Ford family dog Liberty's litter. Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs

President Gerald R. Ford Talking with Ansel Adams and William Turnage

This photograph was taken in the President's Private Office at the White House. Gerald R. Ford White House Photographs