Betty Ford | 1972
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Elizabeth Bloomer Ford | 1918-2011

Betty Ford | 1972
Betty Ford with her family on Christmas in 1972 at their Alexandria, Va., home. Clockwise from her are son Michael Gerald Ford, son Steven Meigs Ford, daughter Susan Elizabeth Ford, son John Gardner Ford and her husband, Rep. Gerald Ford.  (Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 1974
Betty Ford holds the Bible as Gerald Ford is sworn in as the 38th president by U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger on Aug. 9, 1974. “I was terrified at first,” she once said of being thrust into her role as first lady. “I didn’t have the vaguest idea what being a first lady was and what was demanded of me.”  (Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 1974
Betty and Gerald Ford hug in the White House in December 1974. During his tenure as president, she would outshine him in the polls. When he ran for reelection in 1976, one of the most popular campaign buttons read “Betty’s Husband for President.”  (AFP/Getty Images)
Betty Ford | 1974
President and Betty Ford look at a petition of “support and best wishes” signed by all 100 U.S. senators during her 1974 recovery from a mastectomy at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. At the time, breast cancer was a taboo subject, and she broke ground by not only disclosing her illness, but talking openly about it and her treatment.  (White House / Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 1975
First Lady Betty Ford sits on daughter Susan’s lap as she talks on the phone to son Michael in the president’s White House office. In an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” shortly after becoming first lady, Ford startled viewers when she said she wouldn’t be surprised if Susan, then 18, decided to have an affair. She also said she assumed her children had tried marijuana. The interview unleashed a torrent of negative mail to the White House.  (David Hume Kennerly / The White House)
Betty Ford | 1976
Betty Ford tours the grounds of Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, with husband Gerald and daughter Susan in August 1976.  (Graham Barclay / Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 1977
Betty Ford chats with her husband at the White House on her last day as first lady in 1977. He had lost to Jimmy Carter by fewer than 2 million votes in the November 1976 election, but not because of her outspokenness. Experts attributed his loss largely to his pardon of President Nixon.  (Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 1978
Betty Ford leaves Long Beach Naval Hospital after four weeks of treatment for drug and alcohol dependence on May 5, 1978. She had relied on tranquilizers and alcohol to cope with the pressures of being in the White House. Her problems worsened after her husband’s failed reelection bid. She decided to seek treatment after a family intervention.  (Los Angeles Times)
Betty Ford | 1994
Betty Ford, with daughter Susan Ford Bales at her side, answers a reporter’s questions in New York in June 1994. Ford said that if her family had not confronted her about her addiction to prescription pills and alcohol, it “would have probably killed me.”  (Luv Novovitch / Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 1995
Betty Ford walks the family dog, Happy Lady Shenanigans -- a gift from her granddaughters -- near the Fords’ Rancho Mirage home in 1995.  (Los Angeles Times)
Betty Ford | 1995
The former first lady at home in Rancho Mirage in 1995. She founded the Betty Ford Center for the treatment of chemical dependencies a mile from her home in 1982. Since then it has treated more than 75,000 people.  (Los Angeles Times)
Betty Ford | 1997
Betty Ford waits to be introduced for a speech at the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, Calif., in 1997. Being first lady was “a demanding job that came with no job description,” she told the audience of 400 people.  (Los Angeles Times)
Betty Ford | 1997
Betty Ford listens as her husband presents awards at the National Press Club in Washington in June 1997. Betty Ford was a staunch advocate of the Equal Rights Amendment and other feminist causes.  (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 1999
Former first ladies, from left, Betty Ford, Barbara Bush, Lady Bird Johnson and Rosalynn Carter appeared at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Charles A. Dana Foundation in 1999. They were honored for their lifetime contributions to health and education.  (Diane Bondareff / Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 2000

Former Presidents Bush, Clinton, Ford and Carter stand behind former First Ladies Barbara Bush, Lady Bird Johnson, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter at a dinner in honor of the 200th anniversary of the White House in 2000.

 (Kenneth Lambert / Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 2000
Former President Ford talks to his wife, Betty, during a ceremony for a reconstruction project on the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colo., in August 2000. He paid homage to her in his inaugural address, saying, “I am indebted to no man and only to one woman -- my dear wife, Betty.”  (Ed Andrieski / Associated Press)
Betty Ford | 2000
Betty Ford makes an appearance in Grand Rapids, Mich., in February 2000. Ford was born in Chicago but at age 3 moved with her family to Grand Rapids, where she grew up. It was also there that she met Gerald Ford.  (Anna Moore Butzner / The Grand Rapids Press/AP)
Betty Ford | 2000

The Fords enter the East Room of the White House for a dinner marking the 200th anniversary of the White House in 2000. The couple married Oct. 15, 1948, and he was late for the ceremony because he’d been out campaigning for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 (Shawn Thew / AFP/Getty Images)
Betty Ford | 2006
Betty Ford is escorted as President Ford‘s casket is brought out of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert on Dec. 30, 2006, four days after his death at age 93.  (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Betty Ford | 2007
Betty Ford and children Mike, Susan, Steven and Jack gather at Gerald Ford‘s casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 1 in Washington, where thousands of people from across the nation paid their final respects to the former president.  (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)