Gerald Rudolph Ford

Born: 14 Jul 1913, Omaha, NE
Died: 26 Dec 2006, Rancho Mirage, CA

38th President of the United States

Common Ancestor:
Hannah Upson
8th Gr Grandmother
of Merle G Ladd
7th Gr Grandmother
of Gerald Ford
Mercy Hickock William Hickok
Eunice Bouton Samuel Kickox
John Fancher Mehitable Hickox
Squire Fancher David Seymour
Ira Fancher Rachel Seymour
Lucilla Fancher Sally Miller
Douglas C Ladd Levi Addison Gardner
Irving L Ladd Dorothy Ayer Gardner
Allen D Ladd Gerald Ford
Merle G Ladd  
Relationship to Merle G Ladd:
8th Cousin, 1 Time Removed
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (July 14 , 1913 - December 26 , 2006 ) was the 38th President of the United States (1974-1977), and is, to date, the only person to occupy that office who had been elected neither to the presidency nor the vice-presidency . Ford was the first person appointed to the vice presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment , and, after serving as the 40th Vice President (1973-1974) of the United States for less than a year, became President upon Richard Nixon 's resignation. Prior to 1973, he served for over eight years as the Republican Minority Leader of the House of Representatives ; he was first elected to Congress in 1948 from Michigan's 5th congressional district .

In foreign policy, the Helsinki Accords marked a move toward detente in the Cold War , even as the former ally South Vietnam was invaded and conquered by North Vietnam ; Ford did not intervene, but did help extract friends of the U.S. At home, the economy suffered from inflation and recession . Ford came under intense criticism for granting a preemptive pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal . In 1976, Ford narrowly defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination, but ultimately lost the general election to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Ford was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. on July 14, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents, Leslie Lynch King, Sr., a wool trader, and his wife, the former Dorothy Ayer Gardner, separated 16 days after his birth. His mother took him to the Oak Park, Illinois home of her sister. From there she moved to the home of her parents, Levi Addison Gardner and his wife, the former Adele Augusta Ayer, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They divorced the following December. Ford's mother gained full custody. As Gerald Ford recalled later in life, his biological father was abusive and had a history of hitting his mother.

On February 1, 1916, now settled in Grand Rapids, Dorothy King married Gerald Rudolff Ford, a salesman in a family-owned paint and varnish company who later became president of the firm. She began calling her son Gerald Rudolff Ford, Jr. The future president was never formally adopted, however, and he did not legally change his name until December 3, 1935; he also used a more conventional spelling of his middle name. He was raised in Grand Rapids with his three half-brothers by his mother's second marriage.

After experiencing health troubles and being admitted to the hospital four times in 2006, Ford died on December 26 of that year, aged 93.