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, divorced); Gerald Ford (October 15, 1948-December 26, 2006, his death)
Children: with Gerald Ford: Michael, March 14, 1950; John, March 16, 1952; Steven, May 19, 1956; Susan, July 6, 1957
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 US 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 President Richard Nixon resigns, and her husband 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.
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, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.