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Joined: 07 Dec 2006 Posts: 17 Location: United States of America
Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:17 pm Post subject: Former U.S. President Gerald Ford dies at 93
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. President Gerald Ford, who was swept into office after the Watergate scandal and later pardoned Richard Nixon, died at age 93, according to a statement from his widow on Tuesday.
"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, has passed away at 93 years of age," Bette Ford said in a statement.
"His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country."
Her statement was released by the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California, where Ford has been treated.
A former Republican congressman, Ford took office vowing "our long national nightmare is over." He served for 2 1/2 years with a style often mocked as bumbling until he lost the 1976 presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter.
Ford had been ailing and largely out of the public eye for several years.
He was the only U.S. president who was not elected to either the presidency or vice presidency. He was appointed vice president in 1973 after Nixon's vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned to avoid prosecution on corruption charges.
When Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, to avoid impeachment in the scandal over a politically motivated burglary of Democratic Party offices in the Watergate complex in Washington, Ford became president.
He had served 26 years as a congressman from Michigan.
Despite Ford's sunny nature and reputation for decency, critics ridiculed his occasional clumsiness with barbs such as "he can't walk and chew gum at the same time."
His wife, Betty Ford, became a national figure in her own right as an outspoken crusader against drug and alcohol addiction.
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