President Ford Dead at 93
Former President and Michigan Alumni Gerald Ford Passes Away
The University of Michigan, New York Times, and several other news source have reported that former President Gerald Ford has passed away at the age of 93.
Ford was a star center for Michigan's 1932 and 1933 undefeated National Championship teams. Ford was a three year letterman at Michigan, who along with his two national championship trophies was also named MVP of Michigan's 1934 football squad. An astounding athlete, Ford was actively recruited the Green Bay Packers to join the fledgeling NFL. Instead, Ford chose to go to Yale as an assistant football coach in hopes of being admitted to Yale's law school. Ford was admitted in 1938 and completed law school prior to WWII. During WWII Ford served with distinction in the US Navy. After returning from the war, Ford became involved in politics and was eventually elected to the House of Representatives wear he would serve until 1973.
Ford spent 25 years in Congress and rose to House Minority Leader prior to being appointed Vice President by Richard Nixon in 1973. Ford's reputation as a fair and honest represenative earned him a measure of respect during his time in Washington, and his appointment to the Vice Presidency was met with little fanfare.
Soon after his appointment news of the Watergate scandal broke, and turmoil prevailed in the highest offices of the U.S. government. Nixon's subsequent resignation on August 9, 1974, made Ford the President of the United States, an office he never campaigned for nor has ever elected to.
Upon his succession to the Oval Office he said the following:
I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it. Those
who nominated and confirmed me as Vice President were my friends and are my
friends. They were of both parties, elected by all the people and acting under
the Constitution in their name. It is only fitting then that I should pledge to
them and to you that I will be the President of all the people.—Gerald R. Ford, August 9, 1974 (quotation courtesy of Wikipedia).
On that day Ford became our 38th President. As President, Ford lead the country during some of its most trying times, including America's withdrawal from Vietnam, the Watergate scandal, and a stagnant economy coupled with rampant inflation. Under Ford's watch Congress inacted several measures to curb inflation and took steps to bolster the nation's health care. Ford also maintained America's presence abroad, visiting China and continuing the U.S.'s ongoing détente with the Soviet Union.
The former President is survived by his wife Betty, their children, grand children and great grandchildren. My deepest sympathies to the Ford family on their loss.