Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Betty Ford

Betty Ford

Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren
April 8, 1918 – July 8, 2011
U.S. First Lady

Born in Chicago, Illinois; Place of death: Rancho Mirage, California
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.

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