Betty Ford, Former First Lady, Dead at 93
Her death was confirmed by the director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.
Former First Lady, cancer awareness advocate, and inspiration to many who suffered from addiction, Betty Ford, has passed away at the age of 93.
According to CNN, her death was confirmed by the director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, Elaine Didier. A family member tells the news organization that she passed Friday evening with family at her bedside. Cause of death has not been reported.
Married to United States President Gerald R. Ford, she served as the First Lady from 1974 - 1977. She established the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif. in 1982 after she herself recovered from an addiction to alcohol and medication prescribed to her in the early-1960s for a pinched nerve.
The Center became famous for its celebrity clients struggling with addiction and emotional issues, including Ozzy Osbourne, Liz Taylor (who met her husband Larry Fortensky on her second stay there in 1988), Stevie Nicks, Kelsey Grammer, and Lindsay Lohan.
Ford survived breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy in 1974, going on to become one of the earliest advocates for breast cancer awareness.
She leaves behind her four children, Michael, Jack, Steven and Susan, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Former President Ford died on December 26, 2006 also at the age of 93 years old.
"Mrs. Ford was a courageous pioneer, a groundbreaking First Lady, and a forceful advocate for anyone suffering from addiction or breast cancer," Maria Shriver said in a statement. "America fought her struggles with her and learned alongside her. She was brave, outspoken and kind. As a journalist, I had the opportunity to interview her several times and she was just fascinating. She was a wonderful woman who stood up for any human being struggling in the shadows of their personal pain. One of my highlights as First Lady of California was to honor her with a Minerva Award in 2005. My heart goes out to her entire family. Her daughter Susan is a dear friend of mine and continues to carry on Mrs. Ford's work in such a powerful way."
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