Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren
April 8, 1918 – July 8, 2011
U.S. First Lady
• Maiden name: Elizabeth Anne Bloomer
• Became First Lady when President Nixon resigned and made her Vice President husband, Gerald Ford, the acting President
• Third child and only daughter of W. Bloomer Sr and Hortense Neahr
• 8 years of age studied ballet, tap, modern movement
• 14 years old taught younger children the foxtrot, and waltz
• Opened her own dance school when she was a HS student
• Dad died when she was 14 and her mother supported her as a real-estate agent
• Studied under choreographer, Martha Graham; performed at Carnegie Hall
• Fashion coordinator for Herpolscheimer Dept. Store
• Married William C. Warren in 1942 and divorced in 1945
• 1948 married Gerald Ford and had four children: Michael, John, Steven, Susan
• Became the First Lady of the USA in 1973
• Diagnosed with malignant breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy
• Time magazine named her WOMAN OF THE YEAR in 1975
• When Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in the election Betty Ford delivered his concession speech due to her husband's bout with laryngitis in the last days of the campaign.
• Entered Long Beach Naval Hospital in 1978 for drug and alcohol rehabilitation
• Full recovery in 1982 and established the Betty Ford Center dedicated to helping all people, but especially women with chemical dependency.
• 1987 published a book about her treatment: Betty: A Glad Awakening,
2003 published Healing and Hope: Six Women from the Betty Ford Center Share Their Powerful Journeys of Addiction and Recovery
• 1991 earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H.W. Bush; received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1999; honored with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service
• Gerald, husband of 58 years died at the age of 93
• Remained active as chair-emeritus of the Betty Ford Center
• Died at 89 years old of natural causes at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA.
• Buried next to her husband on what would have been his 98th birthday
Betty Ford was a pioneering first lady whose public battles with cancer
and addiction changed the lives of millions. I greatly admired her.
My favorite quote of Betty Ford:
I have an independent streak. You know, it's kind of hard to tell an independent woman what to do.