Gerald R. Ford (The American Presidents, #38) by Douglas BrinkleyThe accidental president whose innate decency and steady hand restored the presidency after its greatest crisis
When Gerald R. Ford entered the White House in August 1974, he inherited a presidency tarnished by the Watergate scandal, the economy was in a recession, the Vietnam War was drawing to a close, and he had taken office without having been elected. Most observers gave him little chance of success, especially after he pardoned Richard Nixon just a month into his presidency, an action that outraged many Americans, but which Ford thought was necessary to move the nation forward.
Many people today think of Ford as a man who stumbled a lot--clumsy on his feet and in politics--but acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley shows him to be a man of independent thought and conscience, who never allowed party loyalty to prevail over his sense of right and wrong. As a young congressman, he stood up to the isolationists in the Republican leadership, promoting a vigorous role for America in the world. Later, as House minority leader and as president, he challenged the right wing of his party, refusing to bend to their vision of confrontation with the Communist world. And after the fall of Saigon, Ford also overruled his advisers by allowing Vietnamese refugees to enter the United States, arguing that to do so was the humane thing to do.
Brinkley draws on exclusive interviews with Ford and on previously unpublished documents (including a remarkable correspondence between Ford and Nixon stretching over four decades), fashioning a masterful reassessment of Gerald R. Fords presidency and his underappreciated legacy to the nation.
Gerald R. Ford Jr.
When Gerald R. This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts. It was indeed an unprecedented time. He had been the first Vice President chosen under the terms of the Twenty-fifth Amendment and, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, was succeeding the first President ever to resign. Ford was confronted with almost insuperable tasks.
Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. Before his accession to the presidency, Ford served as the 40th vice president of the United States from December to August Ford is the only person to have served as both vice president and president without being elected to either office by the Electoral College. After the attack on Pearl Harbor , he enlisted in the U. Naval Reserve , serving from to ; he left as a lieutenant commander. Ford began his political career in as the U.
After his parents'divorce and his mother's marriage to businessman Gerald R. Ford, he became known as Gerald R. Ford, Jr. Jerry Ford graduated from Grand Rapids Michigan South High School in as an honor student and star performer in football and basketball. He was also active in scouting, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in He earned spending money by working in the family paint business and at a local restaurant. He continued both his education and athletics at The University of Michigan where he played center on the Wolverine football team and was selected most valuable player by his teammates during his senior year.
Early Years and Congressional Career
Sign in. His parents separated two weeks after his birth and his mother took him to Grand Rapids, Michigan to live with her parents. On February 1, , his mother Dorothy married Gerald R.
His parents separated two weeks after his birth and his mother took him to Grand Rapids, Michigan to live with her parents. On February 1, , approximately two years after her divorce was final, Dorothy King married Gerald R. Ford, a Grand Rapids paint salesman. The Fords began calling her son Gerald R. Ford, Jr.