Betty Ford Fast Facts

First Lady Betty Ford watches as her husband President Gerald R. Ford open his gift from her during the family's first visit of the presidency to their usual Christmas holiday vacation spot in Vail, Colorado.

(CNN)Here's a look at the life of former First Lady of the United States Betty Ford.

Birth date:
April 8, 1918

Death date: July 8, 2011

    Birth name: Elizabeth Anne Bloomer

    Birth place: Chicago, Illinois

    Father: William Bloomer, a salesman

    Mother: Hortense (Neahr) Bloomer

    Marriages: William Warren (1942-1947, divorce); Gerald Ford (October 15, 1948-December 26, 2006, his death)

    Children: with Gerald Ford: Michael Gerald, March 14, 1950; John Gardner, March 16, 1952; Steven Meigs, May 19, 1956; Susan Elizabeth, July 6, 1957

    Other Facts:
    After graduating high school, she attended the Bennington School of the Dance in Vermont.

    Lobbied for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

    1926 -
    Begins taking dance lessons.

    1939 - Moves to New York City to study dance at the Martha Graham School.

    1941 - Moves back to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she grew up. Works for Herpolsheimer's department store and teaches dance classes.

    1948 - Marries Gerald Ford in the middle of his campaign for representative of Michigan's fifth district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    October 1973 - Spiro T. Agnew resigns as vice president of the United States and Gerald Ford is nominated to take his place.

    December 6, 1973 - Gerald Ford is sworn in as vice president.

    August 9, 1974 - Becomes First Lady of the United States after Nixon resigns and Ford is sworn in as the 38th president of the United States.

    September 1974 - Is diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoes surgery. Afterwards, openly discusses the disease and treatment with the public.

    1975 - Appears on "60 Minutes" and discusses abortion, pre-marital sex and marijuana.

    April 11, 1978 - Enters Long Beach Naval Hospital for treatment of alcohol and prescription painkiller abuse.

    1978 - Her autobiography "The Times of My Life" is released.

    1982 - Along with Leonard Firestone, opens The Betty Ford Center, for the treatment of addiction, in Rancho Mirage, California. Ford is named chairman of the board of the center.

    1983 - Is given the Komen Foundation award for support of breast cancer education. The award is later renamed the Betty Ford Award.

    1987 - Her second autobiography, "Betty: A Glad Awakening," is released.

    November 18, 1991 - Is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush.

    October 27, 1999 - The Congressional Gold Medal is awarded to President and Mrs. Ford.

    2005 - Steps down as chairman of the board for The Betty Ford Center.

    December 26, 2006 - President Ford dies.

    July 8, 2011 - Dies at age 93.

    July 14, 2011 - Is interred next to her husband on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.