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Betty Ford

( The wife of the president. United States)

Comments for Betty Ford
Biography Betty Ford
(April 8, 1918 - ...)
Betty Ford was a popular First Lady. She avoided journalists willingly gave interviews, had much more contact with the press, than Pat Nixon. Betty Ford is actively promoted the adoption of a supplement to the Constitution on Equality between Women and supported the need for cooperation of women in political institutions in the U.S.. In the framework of social activism Betty Ford took care of the mentally retarded children, children from broken and poor families, who are invited to receptions at the White House. A lot of time she spent in Washington children's hospitals and urged others to follow suit. In addition, supported the program through the old, poor and sick people. Betty Ford was a
active First Lady.
Betty Ford was going through very difficult to defeat her husband's election against Jimmy Carter in 1976. Her state of health deteriorated. She increasingly began to take tranquilizers pills, pain medication, and look into the glass. The combination of pills and alcohol led to serious consequences. In late 1977 the whole family was very concerned about the state of her health. Friends left her, and she took no invitations. Daughter Susan for a moment did not leave her alone.
In autumn 1978 the whole family gathered to convince Betty to the need for treatment. Betty was silent, believing that they interfere in her personal life. In April, held a second conversation, but on this occasion was attended by a doctor and nurse. Betty finally realized that the family is seriously concerned about her health, and expressed willingness to be treated in a rehabilitation center for alcoholics and drug addicts at the hospital in Long Beach.

At first, she admitted only in drug dependence. Having stayed in hospital for ten days, said that he was drinking. The doctors insisted that she had openly declared its weaknesses, it will facilitate a common therapy, but Betty had feared that such recognition might hurt her husband, then a doctor suggested to ask him about it. Ford managed to convince Betty. Have it all, Betty came to the conclusion that the frank recognition of the disease can help other people to fight against alcohol addiction.

In her statement, she called upon all to seek assistance from experts. "It gave me strength," - she said in 1981 in an interview, and in 1987 admitted: "Only now I understand how she was sick."

. After treatment, she again returned to active public life and take care of patients with arthritis and cancer.

. In 1982, at Rancho Mirage in California, she founded a center to combat excessive alcohol and drugs (Center for Rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug addicts named Betty Ford).

. In early 1987, was published her book "The Great Awakening Betty," in which she describes their own problems with alcohol and pills, reveals the entire process of successful treatment at the center, founded by her
. At the same time for the film "The history of Betty Ford". At first, Betty did not want to show it, but then changed their minds, though, as she put it, some scenes for me were too painful ... but I was convinced that he has helped thousands of people. "

. When a reporter asked Gerald Ford, why make a movie about his wife, and not about himself, he laughed and replied: "My husband's interesting to me."

. Betty Ford was born on April 8 in Chicago
. Her mother, Hortense Bloomer said that her daughter broke into the light "like a cork from a bottle of champagne". Officially christened her name Elizabeth Ann, but from early childhood began to be called Betty.

Betty was a pretty girl, but a few stout. In the summer her parents visited her in a boarding house on the lake, where many people have picnics, and a little Betty went from table to table, and it was treated to biscuits and sweets. His mother, concerned about the fullness of her daughter, she hung a sign around her neck: "Please do not feed this child."

Betty was three years old when his family moved to Grand Rapid, Mich.. She grew up with two older brothers. With eight years, started attending dance school and they found his calling.

. In 1936, Betty graduated from Central High School, all the time, took dancing lessons, admiring, mostly, modern dance, and dreamed of a career dancer.

. Although the mother placed on it quite a demanding, sometimes even hard to implement, she remembers childhood as a "golden time"
. Betty once said: "My mother was a strong woman. I would like to be as strong as she.

Betty's father, William Bloomer, a merchant in the field of engineering, due to their activities is often not at home. Obviously, in her life, he did not play a significant role, because it is seldom mentioned him. He died when Betty was 16 years old. Gassed, repairing a car in a closed garage, and only at the funeral of Betty learned that his father was an alcoholic.

Betty tried to help her mother with all my strength. Worked as a model in a department store, gave dance lessons. To this end, she took off in the adjacent house basement for a dollar an hour, invited the pianist, also for a dollar an hour. This is how the dance school for children.

Soon his mother married a second time. The family already had enough money to send to Betty for two years at school dances in Bennigston, Vermont.

So she became acquainted with Martha Graham, who took her in 1939 in his ballet troupe. Of course, the qualifications she could enter the first part, but the second part she performed in New York. Betty admired Martha Graham, makes all the incredibly high standards. "Without a strict discipline of mind and body can not be a good dancer" - would later write the Betti. Many years later, already becoming a First Lady, she persuaded her husband to Martha Graham to award the Medal of Freedom.

To continue the occupation, she worked as a model, while participating actively in public life. Martha Graham had warned her that if she dreams about this career, then everything else should be sidelined,. Mother invited her to come home for some time to quietly think about the future. Betty accepted the invitation and did not return to school dance. In Grand Rapids, it broke its own ballet troupe. In addition, working as a model and fashion designer.
Of 24 years Betty was married to an insurance agent, William C. Warren of Grand Rapids. Marital happiness was short-lived. Her husband changed jobs frequently in search of which they moved from city to city. Warren began to neglect his wife and spent much time with friends in the pub. Betty decided to divorce, but her husband was ill with diabetes. For two years she nursed him, and when his health improved, filed for divorce. She was 29 years old, and already had the bitter experience of family life. More to marry, she did not want.

Once in one of the August day in 1947, before the final divorce, Betty called her friend Peg Newman and invited to the evening to one friend by the name Jerry Ford. Betty replied that busy and not able to come. In the conversation switched Jerry Ford, arguing that she deserves a little break. Betty said: "Well, I'll come, but only for 20 minutes". Those 20 minutes turned into two hours. It turned out that she had seen Jerry before, but never let slip with a single word.

Ford later admitted that when they first met he did not have the impression that he would share with her the whole future life. Betty also had no such thoughts, but from time to time they met, went to dances, sporting events, playing bridge.

Beginning in 1948 Betty met on a fashion show in New York, Jerry - San Velleius in Idaho. Both began to languish without each other. In February 1948, Jerry made Betty proposal, which it adopted. It was worded somewhat unusual way: "I would like to marry you, but I can only do this fall. The reason I can not explain now. "

Ford wanted to take part in elections scheduled for November to a post in the House of Representatives, but did not want to say anything, not yet formally submitted his candidacy. This he did in June, and at the same time admitted to Betty in love. Even that he missed, making her proposal.

Friends of the Ford advised him to postpone the wedding until after the election. They feared that sensitive and conservative voters from Grand Rapids for Ford condemn marriage with a dancer, and besides more and divorced. He, on the contrary, precisely because the wedding would get more votes. Betty supported him during the election campaign, and even hooked up with friends and acquaintances.

The wedding took place on October 15, in the midst of election campaigns. Ford appeared before the altar of the Episcopal Church to the last minute, still in dusty shoes, right after one of the pre-election activities. He was 35 years old, his wife - 30.

During the election campaign, they were not up to their honeymoon, but Betty was happy. "If I had not met Jerry, the second time I would have never married" - she said.

Three weeks after the wedding, Ford won the election, and they moved to Washington. Betty enjoyed in the capital, where she was destined to live for more than three decades. She helped her husband in his office in the Capitol, conducted a household participated in public work. "I did everything expected of the wife Policy. I even took lessons of rhetoric to learn how to give speeches, "- told Betty. She has worked with various women's organizations: the "Club of the wives of Congressmen", "Club Congress," Club of the wives of Republicans. "

. Friends joked that she should not be jealous of her husband to other women, because Jerry is married to his work. "

. When Betty, shortly before the wedding, said Ford knew, . what they thought of him, . They frankly told her: "If you can understand, . that the policy for him is more important than marriage, . if you can come to terms with this, . Then you will have a happy family life, in Washington, you, . sure, . will form a good pair.,
. Two years after the wedding, in 1950, Betty gave birth to a son, Michael Gerald, in 1952, John Gardner, in 1956 - Steven Meigs, and in 1957 a daughter, Susan Elizabeth.
. Like her husband, Betty was an avid sports fan
. Her favorite sports were swimming and skiing. In addition, she was fond of gardening.
In 1965, Gerald Ford was elected chairman of the Republican faction in the House of Representatives, which further goad him into politics. This appointment Betty commented on the following words:
. "The House of Representatives was another leader of the minority, but I lost a husband."
. Ford admitted that the frequent absence of the house leads to tensions in family life, although he always called his wife, if delayed
. In an interview, Betty said: "I have always protested against his frequent absences and felt terribly lonely". Once she woke in the night and saw her husband's bedside. Caught unawares, she exclaimed: "What are you delaeshN"

One evening in August 1964, opening the window, she pulled a muscle in his neck. In the morning woke up with numb hands. At the hospital, doctors determined the nerve spasms, despite treatment, the pain is not passed, moreover intensified rheumatism. Increasingly, she began to resort to painkillers. In 1970 he appealed for help to a psychiatrist, and she felt better.

Betty insisted that Jerry leave policy. He promised that in 1974 will be the last time to stand for election of members of Congress, but important events forced him to still change the plans.
In October 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnyu, accused of bribery, was forced to resign. Richard Nixon appointed Gerald Ford vice president, in December, Congress endorsed this appointment, and suddenly Betty became the second Lady of America. New duties, she performed with gusto.
Eight months later, because of the case "Watergate" Nixon was forced to resign, and August 9, 1974, Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38 th President of the United States. Betty could not believe that her husband became president. The impressions during the swearing in, she told me: "I felt as though I myself offer my oath". I was deeply moved when her husband said: "Not before whom I have no commitments, just before my wife - his beloved wife". But after the swearing she hesitated: "Oh my God, what challenges await me!"

"This house became a tomb. I want to sing here "- she said immediately, as soon as they entered the White House. She gave parties, inviting friends and acquaintances who have made a recovery in the residence.

When Nixon guard was ordered not to respond to the greetings of the President and not to engage him in conversation. Betty lifted all in an effort to create a direct, sincere atmosphere, and while stressing: "Jerry and I are simple people, we love company.

Betty Ford was a popular First Lady. She avoided journalists willingly gave interviews, had much more contact with the press, than Pat Nixon. Her personal press secretary Sheila Rabb Vaydenfeld considered the most important task to care about the image of the president and his wife. It did not suit regular press conferences, because Betty at official meetings with journalists has always been a bit excited and could easily spoil relations with someone. She invited Betty to maintain contact with the media in informal conversations, participating in various activities. Journalists like these light conversations with First Lady, because she not only went from controversial topics, but she had discussed their relaxed manner. Betty loved journalists, and for this press treated her with great sympathy.


Betty has a definite influence on the decisions of her husband. Opinion on topical issues, she often explained to him just before bedtime. These were the so-called pillow talk. Ford admitted: "Betty teaches me many questions, thus providing a great influence on my decision". Betty, for example, supported the view is not to punish Nixon admitted mistakes during his presidency. Later, she acknowledged that this compassion has led Ford to lose elections in 1976.

. Sometimes her honest remarks produced a sensation, for example, when she told about the sexual relationship with her husband and told him that it operated on for breast cancer
. After this recognition, readers began to send her money, which she donated to the American Cancer Society.

. Few presidents slept in the same bedroom with their wives because they had a completely different schedule of the day, often at night they went out for the unexpected phone calls for urgent cases, the exception was Harry Truman, and Ford
. Betty Ford candidly told reporters: "For 25 years we slept with her husband in a bedroom, and I do not see any reason why this should change."

. When she first introduced Sheila Vaydenfeld the White House, then, showing the bedroom, said: "This is our bedroom
. For many years we have the first presidential couple, whose joint bedroom. To my surprise, some people wrote to me that it should not be, the president can not sleep with his wife in a bedroom. "

. In an interview with writer Mira Betty McPherson said that "I already asked about everything, but have not yet asked how often I close with my husband
. But if asked, I would have this question answered. - "And what would you otvetiliN" - inquired the journalist. - "What we are close, as often as possible", - said Betty.

. In August 1975 the television program "60 Minutes" Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion she called "very, . a very important decision, and explained, . what, . not being a proponent of premarital sexual relations, . She believes, . what they can contribute to reducing the number of divorces, . and added, . that if it was younger, . it also would, . probably, . smoked marijuana,
. From her statements could conclude that it felt natural, if her daughter had maintained intimate relations with one of the boys. The next time she said that abortion should be in the hospital and not from some quack in a dark corner. Among the Americans had enough of the Puritans and hypocrites, who resented her frank opinions. "National Review", Journal of right-wing, accused her of "svodobnom interpretation of the Ten Commandments. When Ford was asked what he thinks about the remarks Betty, he said that when he heard it for the first time, he decided that his wife would cost him 10 million votes. "When I was with my own eyes I read all this, it has increased its estimates to 20 million". That evening, he probably should have run cushion in a wife.

But many Americans liked the honesty of Betty. The White House has come more and more letters supporting Betty and her outspoken. Ford said: "I would like to have her popularity". The next time a joke: "Honestly, I think that she could pursue the post of president."

In a survey of the views of the Research Institute for Louis Harris in 1976, 71% of Americans appreciated the activities of the First Lady. Institute poll of the population in 1977 put her in first place in the list of women in the world that Americans admire most.
. Betty Ford is actively promoted the adoption of a supplement to the Constitution on Equality between Women and supported the need for cooperation of women in political institutions in the U.S.
. In September 1975, "Nyosuik" called her "Woman of the Year". Betty, . defending their interests, . called some senators and members of Congress, . proposed compulsory registration of personal firearms, . convince her husband to the need to appoint women to high positions in government and the diplomatic service, . as well as the Supreme Court,
. Ford appointed Carla Hill, the Minister for Health and Education, Ann Armstrong - U.S. Ambassador in London. Despite increased efforts, it still failed to make the appointment of women to the Supreme Court. In his autobiography, Betty admitted that "well handled" her husband to get his attention to women's issues.

. While she fought for women's equality, but did not share the views of the American feminists, who ironically about the role of woman as a housewife
. Once she even said: "In essence, much harder to be a good housewife, than to make money in the office. Can any man can pay for all the work, . who performs his wife as a cook, . mistress, . driver, . nurse and nurse him deteyN That's why I think, . that women should have equal rights, . the same sense of social security, . the same opportunities for education and obtain credit. ",

. In the framework of social activism Betty Ford took care of the mentally retarded children, children from broken and poor families, who are invited to receptions at the White House
. A lot of time she spent in Washington children's hospitals and urged others to follow suit. In addition, supported the program through the old, poor and sick people. Betty Ford was a very active First Lady.

. She knew how to properly conduct themselves in a difficult and unexpected situations, such as June 22, 1976 in New York, when Rabbi Dr. Maurice Zage, at a gala banquet was on behalf of the Jewish National Fund to give her the Bible
. When he represented the First Lady, he suddenly became ill. To protect it arrived, Betty. She calmly walked to the microphone and said: "Let us pray for Rabbi Zage. He was taken to hospital and he now needs our prayers. Please stand up and, bowing his head, pray for him ". Despite the best efforts of doctors, doctor Zage died.

. Later, she noticed that the doctor was very fond Zage and in this dramatic moment, when all stood around helplessly, she believed that he could do anything for him.

. Betty was known and jealousy
. One day at a reception at the White House acted beautiful singer Vicki Carr, a native of Mexico. After the concert, Ford talked to her on the terrace. Vicki asked the president what his favorite Mexican dish. Laughing president replied: "You - my favorite dish". At this point, the voice of Mrs. Ford, who was standing nearby and heard the answer: "This woman never crossed the threshold of the White House."

. When in July 1975, Ford announced its intention to participate in elections for a second term, Betty supported her husband, while hoping that he would depart from the policy
. Republican Party strategists diverted her election campaign role. There were badges with slogans like "Choose a husband Betty," "We reserve Betty White House," "I love Betty," "Betty's husband to stay as president", etc.. Sam Ford made the following conclusion: "Although it is against policy, but she has a nice ear and the same keen understanding of what is happening around."

. Betty liked the atmosphere of the election race, she candidly said: "We like the pre-election fight
. All our lives we are waging this struggle, since, as my husband began to seek elective office. I usually helped him in his constituency in Michigan, although it was only about the meetings in a church or on the activities of Polish culture house, or even about how to listen carefully to his speech. "

. After the case "Watergate", when the credibility of the Republican Party significantly deteriorated, Betty tried to convince voters in the integrity of her husband, gave speeches, gave interviews to the press, on radio and television
. In Pittsburgh went from house to house campaigning for her husband. At the same time she had a sense of humor. At an election meeting in the city of Sioux Falls, . South Dakota, . Before we start, . she asked the audience the following question: "You do not have against, . when I first greeted muzhemN "Then she went to the poster Ford and kissed him,
. In Buffalo, a parade of Pulaski, she stood on the podium next to the candidate for vice-president of the Democratic Party, Walter Mondeli and defiantly pinned his badge with the inscription: "We reserve Betty White House."
. In speeches, she deliberately avoided the political front, not to be ahead of her husband, that American voters did not recognize
. She talked about personal matters or on the character traits of a spouse. When the morning after the election in 1976, Susan asked: "Mom, we pobediliN," she replied calmly: "You children, acquired his father, and I - the husband". Husband consoled by telling him about the interesting lessons that are waiting for him. In fact, Ford's defeat in the elections turned out for her in such a strong blow that her health was failing.
. About her husband she once said with complete candor: "He accidentally became vice president by chance - the president, succeeding in both posts discredited people."
. After leaving the White House, Ford flew to Houston to take part in a reception in honor of the famous coach Vince Lombardi's football team
. Proceeds from this method were to be received at the Foundation of the Society against Cancer. Ford agreed to take part in this event even as president. When the plane was landing, Ford expressed the fear that people will be disappointed, seeing instead of this - the former president, but Betty replied: "Do not worry, dear. They will come to see you. "
In November 1987, 69-year-old Betty Ford underwent surgery on the heart - bypass. She lay in the Eisenhower Medical Center. A few weeks later began postoperative complications, but the courage and determination with which she has always been known, accelerated recovery.


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