19 January 2009


Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the thirty-eighth President of the United States and the first person appointed to the vice-presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment. The Amendment was invoked three times under Gerald Ford. The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, allowed Ford to be nominated for the vice presidency to replace Spiro Agnew who resigned under tax evasion charges in 1973. The Vice Presidency had been vacant several times throughout history due to death, resignation or succession to the Presidency. The Amendment also formalized the succession process upon vacancy of the presidency which applied to Ford in 1974 following Nixon's resignation. Thirdly, as sitting President, Ford was able to nominate Nelson Rockefeller to succeed him as Vice President.

Gerald and Betty Ford escort Richard and Pat Nixon to the Presidential Helicopter after Nixon's resignation speech. (White House photo)

One of the highlights of Ford's 29 months in office was his pardon of former President Nixon. In election of 1976, he was defeated by Jimmy Carter who thanked Ford for "all he has done to heal our land."

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