38th president

Presidential Profiles: Gerald Ford (#38)

Gerald Ford
38th President of the United States

FULL NAME:  Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (Born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., but renamed after his adoptive father in 1916 and legally changed his name in 1935)
  July 14, 1913, 3202 Woolworth Avenue, Omaha, Nebraska
  195 lbs. during his Presidency
  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics on June 17, 1935); Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut (Graduated with a law degree in January 1941)
  Elizabeth “Betty” Bloomer Warren (Apr. 8, 1918-       )
  October 15, 1948, Grace Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  35 years, 93 days
  58 years, 72 days
  August 9, 1974-January 20, 1977
  2 years, 155 days
  Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller of New York
  47th Presidential Administration
  93rd and 94th Congresses
  61 years, 26 days
  63 years, 190 days
29 years, 340 days
  December 26, 2006, 40365 Sand Dune Road, Rancho Mirage, California
  93 years, 165 days
  Heart failure; arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease; diffuse arteriosclerosis
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Election as President
Ford was never elected to the Presidency or the Vice Presidency – he is the only person in American History to hold both offices without winning a national election.  Ford was appointed Vice President by President Richard Nixon after Spiro Agnew’s resignation in 1973.  Ford succeeded to the Presidency upon President Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974.

Important Dates in Ford’s Life and Career
1913: Ford’s mother fled with the future President to escape an abusive relationship with Ford’s biological father, Leslie Lynch King
1916: Ford’ mother married Gerald Rudolff Ford; Ford took his adoptive father’s name and legally changed names in 1935
1931-1935:  Studied at the University of Michigan
1935:  MVP of Michigan’s football team; played in the College All-Star Game against the Chicago Bears
1935: Graduated from Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics
1935:  Turned down contracts with the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions NFL football teams to enter law school
1935-1940: Took jobs coaching boxing an assistant varsity football at Yale University in order to earn money for Yale Law School
1936: Worked as a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park in the summer
1938-1941: Studied at Yale Law School
1939-1942: Worked part-time as a male model; appeared in Look magazine and featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan in 1942
1941: Graduated with a law degree from Yale Law School; admitted to the Michigan bar
1942: Enlisted in the United States Navy
1943-1944: Served aboard the USS Monterey in the Pacific Ocean during World War II
1946: Discharged from the U.S. Navy
1946-1948: Practiced law in Grand Rapids, Michigan
1948: Nominated as the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan’s 5th Congressional District
1949-1973: United States Representative from Michigan’s 5th Congressional District
1963-1964: Member of the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson
1965-1973: House Minority Leader
1968 & 1972: Permanent Chairman of the Republican National Convention
1973-1974: 40th Vice President of the United States (nominated by President Nixon upon Vice President Spiro Agnew’s resignation and confirmed by the Senate under the Twenty-fifth Amendment)
1974-1977: 38th President of the United States (assumed the Presidency upon the resignation of President Nixon)
1976: Republican nominee for President of the United States; Defeated by Jimmy Carter in the general election
1979: Published his autobiography, A Time To Heal
1980: Briefly considered accepting the nomination as Ronald Reagan’s Vice Presidential running mate
1981: Opened the Gerald R. Ford Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan
1981: Represented the United States (along with former Presidents Nixon and Carter) at the funeral of assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat
1999: Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton
2001: Awarded the John F. Kennedy Profiles In Courage Award for his controversial pardon of former President Nixon in 1974

1.  Originally named “Leslie Lynch King, Jr.” after his biological father upon his birth in 1913, the future President took the name of his adoptive father, Gerald Rudolff Ford, and legally changed his name in 1935. Ford spelled his middle name “Rudolph” – a less Germanic spelling of the name during the time of Hitler’s rise.  Ford’s mother left his abusive biological father just 16 days after Ford’s birth, after Leslie Lynch King, Sr. allegedly beat her.  Ford only met King twice.  When Ford was 17, King visited the restaurant that Ford worked at in Grand Rapids, Michigan, had lunch with him, and gave him $25.  King also visited Ford briefly when Ford was attending Yale Law School.  Ford loved his adoptive father and namesake, but viciously resented his biological father who was wealthy and seemingly happy while Ford struggled through college.
2.  Ford is one of the all-time great football players in the illustrious history of the University of Michigan’s famed football program.  Ford played football (center on offense, linebacker on defense) for all four years of college and helped Michigan win national titles as a sophomore and junior in 1932 and 1933.  As a senior in 1934, Ford was the team’s most valuable player and played in the College All-Star Game against the Chicago Bears.  After college, Ford was offered contracts by the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, but turned down the NFL to study law.  Michigan retired Ford’s jersey number, #48, at halftime of a game in 1994.  Ford always retained his love for the University of Michigan.  At his funeral, the music included Michigan’s fight song, The Victors.
3.  Ford was the only person to serve as President and Vice President without being elected to either office or ever winning a national election.  Ford was appointed to the Vice Presidency by President Richard Nixon in 1973 after Spiro Agnew resigned due to corruption charges.  It was less than nine months later when Nixon was forced tor resign the Presidency due to the Watergate scandal and Ford succeeded to the Presidency.  Ford later noted that he had no ambition for the Presidency prior to moving into the White House, but had instead hoped to someday be Speaker of the House.  After he became President, Ford did hope to win election in his own right, but narrowly lost the 1976 election to Jimmy Carter.
4.  Ford was the first President to pardon another President when he issued a pardon of Richard Nixon “for all offenses against the United States which he…has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974."  Ford’s pardon – handed down just a month after he succeeded Nixon – was unpopular at the time, criticism was vicious, and Ford faced opposition from many of his own aides (the White House Press Secretary resigned in protest).  President Ford stood by the decision, however, and noted that it was the correct move to make in order for the country to move forward from the Watergate scandal and begin the process of healing.  The pardon was probably a big factor in Jimmy Carter’s victory over Ford in the 1976 Presidential election.  In hindsight, most historians and even Ford’s political opponents have called the pardon the right move and a courageous act of political risk.  Ford was later awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the John F. Kennedy Profiles In Courage award and his pardon of Nixon was recognized on those occasions, as well as upon his death.
5.  President Ford was the target of two assassination attempts, just 17 days apart, and both attempts were made by women.  On September 5, 1975, former Charles Mansion follower Squeaky Fromme tried to shoot President Ford at the California State Capitol in Sacramento but was stopped by a Secret Service agent before she could pull the trigger.  On September 22, 1975, Sara Jane Moore fired one shot at President Ford outside of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.  Moore’s bullet narrowly missed Ford, sailing over his head and grazing a nearby taxi driver.  As she tried to fire again, Moore was disarmed by a former Marine who was standing next to her.  Both women were sentenced to life in prison and both women were released on parole after Ford’s death.
6.  Ford died at the age of 93 years, 165 days on December 26, 2006.  Ford was the longest-living President in American History, and he lived 45 days longer than Ronald Reagan, who was also 93 when he died in 2004.  Ford lived an active life well into his 90s – golfing and skiing until after he turned 90, and swimming up until a few months before his death.  Ford and his wife, Betty, were married for 58 years and are the longest-lived Presidential couple.  As of 2011, Betty Ford was still alive and she celebrated her 93rd birthday in April.  The only First Ladies who have lived longer than Betty Ford are Bess Truman (died at the age of 97 in 1982) and Lady Bird Johnson (died at the age of 94 in 2007).  


Woodward and Bernstein, reporters for the Washington Post, were a minor footnote in history. Nixon survived his 2nd term, and would be President of the United States for three more terms.

Nixon visited Dallas, Texas earlier on November 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. It is implied that The Comedian, who was minding Nixon that day, pulled the trigger.
Robert Redford would succeed Richard Nixon as the 38th President of the United States.

2014 Presidential Rankings: #1

16th President of the United States (1861-1865)

Full Name: Abraham Lincoln
Born: February 12, 1809, Hardin County (present-day LaRue County), Kentucky
Political Party: Republican
State Represented: Illinois
Term: March 4, 1861-April 15, 1865 (Assassinated)
Age at Inauguration: 52 years, 20 days
Administration: 19th and 20th
Congresses: 37th, 38th, and 39th
Vice Presidents: Hannibal Hamlin (1st term: 1861-1865) and Andrew Johnson (2nd term: 1865; Assumed the Presidency upon Lincoln’s death)
Died: April 15, 1865, Petersen’s Boarding House, 516 10th Street NW, Washington, D.C.
Age at Death: 56 years, 62 days
Buried: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois

2012 Dead Presidents Ranking: 1 of 43 [↔]

There was a time where I could consider Washington or FDR as #1 instead of Lincoln, but not anymore.  The more that I read about everything that Abraham Lincoln had to overcome in order to hold the North together so that the Union could fight the Civil War combined with all of the personal struggles that Lincoln faced – not just growing up and somehow becoming President, but AS President – makes him the closest thing in my eyes to a miracle.  If a religious person wants to make an argument for God, don’t do it with Jesus or Moses or the Bible, instead talk to me about Abraham Lincoln and what he did during the Civil War and how his time on Earth ended as soon as the war came to a close.  That’s an argument I might listen to if you want to talk to me about destiny.  Lincoln was the greatest President, the greatest American, one of the greatest people in the history of the world.  And he’s undoubtedly my #1.

1948: Schlesinger Sr./Life Magazine:  1 of 29
1962: Schlesinger Sr./New York Times Magazine:  1 of 31
1982: Neal/Chicago Tribune Magazine:  1 of 38
1990: Siena Institute:  2 of 40
1996: Schlesinger Jr./New York Times Magazine:  1 of 39
2000: C-SPAN Survey of Historians:  1 of 41
2000: C-SPAN Public Opinion Poll:  1 of 41
2005: Wall Street Journal/Presidential Leadership:  2 of 40
2009: C-SPAN Survey of Historians:  1 of 42
2010: Siena Institute:  3 of 43
2011: University of London’s U.S. Presidency Centre:  2 of 40

A Synopsis Of A Dumb Person’s Ideal Final Episode Of “Mad Men”

• Roger Sterling gives up drinking and fucking around forever, and decides to move to an ashram.
• Pete Campbell gets beaten within an inch of his life by several of his colleagues because he’s ~such a jerk~.
• Joan Harris is elected the 38th President of the United States in a landslide.
• Why, look who is the new CEO of McCann Erikson – it’s Peggy Olsen!
• And hey, she’s engaged to marry Stan!
• Harry Crane is sentenced to life in prison for being sleazy and annoying.
• Megan gets back together with Don after he rescues her from the clutches of the Manson Family in Los Angeles.
• The episode ends with a big happy cocktail party at Don’s place. Megan sings “Zou Bisou” again. Everyone is happy. The show concludes with a big sentimental speech from Don, who closes with “And we were…TRULY…Mad Men.” Midway through the speech Don looks off to a corner and sees the Jedi ghosts of Bert Cooper, Lane Pryce, and Grandpa Gene smiling at him.

Daddy Issues

When Gerald Ford was born on July 14, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska, he was originally named Leslie Lynch King, Jr., after his biological father. Leslie Sr. was a brutal, physically and emotionally abusive man who had problems with alcohol. The first time that he beat his wife Dorothy – the future President’s mother – was on their honeymoon in 1912. Less than a week after Dorothy gave birth to the man who would become the 38th President, a drunken Leslie Sr. grabbed a butcher knife and threatened to kill both Dorothy and Leslie Jr. The future President was just 16 days old when Dorothy took him out of the dangerous household, fled to Michigan and initiated divorce proceedings. In 1916, Dorothy married Gerald Ford Sr. and Leslie Jr. was renamed after his adoptive stepfather, a good man who President Ford revered throughout his life.

Jerry Ford met his biological father briefly on only two other occasions. By that time, Leslie Lynch King Sr. was successful and wealthy, yet he had never made an effort to make amends and get to know the future President. King had remarried and had three children, but he ignored his firstborn son and never provided any type of child support, even as Dorothy struggled to raise Jerry. King’s father (Jerry Ford’s grandfather) helped Dorothy out with child support, but Leslie Sr. showed no interest in his eldest son’s life. It was an experience that forever influenced Jerry Ford’s beliefs.

In January 1949, Gerald Ford took his seat and proudly began representing Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives. A few months later, Congressman Ford introduced legislation targeting deadbeat dads in order to close up any loopholes which might help absentee parents from having to pay child support, particularly by moving to different states or jurisdictions. For close to a quarter-century, Ford represented Michigan in Congress and – at the beginning of each of his 13 terms in the House – he introduced similar legislation targeting deadbeat dads or absentee parents trying to avoid child support payments. This legislation from Ford became known as the “Runaway Pappy bill”.

The scandals of the Nixon/Agnew Administration led to Ford being named Vice President in 1973 to replace the disgraced Agnew, and then succeeding to the Presidency in August 1974 upon Nixon’s resignation. Now that he was working out of the Executive branch, Ford could no longer introduce his Runaway Pappy legislation, but that didn’t slow down his lifelong war with deadbeat dads. In 1975, President Ford created the Office of Child Support Enforcement which gave the federal government some jurisdiction in delinquent child support cases which had previously been up to the individual states to handle on their own. While Ford never admitted any personal reasoning behind the Runaway Pappy legislation, longtime doorkeeper of the House of Representatives, William “Fishbait” Miller wrote that he and Ford had both been deserted by their fathers and that Ford’s legislative targeting of deadbeat dads was definitely personal.