Betty Ford

Apr 8, 1918 - Jul 8, 2011

Elizabeth Anne "Betty" Ford was the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977, as the wife of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford. As First Lady, she was active in social policy and created precedents as a politically active presidential wife. Ford also served as the Second Lady of the United States from 1973 to 1974.
Throughout her husband's term in office, she maintained high approval ratings despite opposition from some conservative Republicans who objected to her more moderate and liberal positions on social issues. Ford was noted for raising breast cancer awareness following her 1974 mastectomy. In addition, she was a passionate supporter of, and activist for, the Equal Rights Amendment. Pro-choice on abortion and a leader in the Women's Movement, she gained fame as one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time, including feminism, equal pay, the Equal Rights Amendment, sex, drugs, abortion, and gun control. She also raised awareness of addiction when in the 1970s, she announced her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse, being the first First Lady to do so.
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“My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?”

Betty Ford
Apr 8, 1918 - Jul 8, 2011
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