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Former President Gerald R. Ford Dies Today at 93

Gerald R Ford Dies

FORMER president Gerald R. Ford died at 6:45 p.m. today at age 93. He was 38th (1974-77) and only unelected president in America's history. He was also the longest living president, followed by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93.

Gerald Ford
From her husband's office in Rancho Mirage, Mrs. Betty Ford announced in a brief statement, "My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age. His life was filled with love of God, his family, and his country."

President Ford epitomized servant-leadership. He did what was best for those he led no matter what the cost might have been for him politically. He believed in the importance of leading by example. He spent his career serving his country and healed his country. He was the right man at the right time. He was a humble, honest man and a great leader.

"The American people will always admire Gerald Ford's devotion to duty, his personal character and the honorable conduct of his administration," President Bush said in a statement tonight. "We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our 38th president will always have a special place in our nation's memory."

"During a time of disquiet and uncertainty, Ford, through his inherent decency, almost single-handedly restored the faith of the American people in their government" wrote Mark Updegrove in Second Acts.

President Ford closed his autobiography, A Time To Heal, upon leaving the White House in 1978 with these words, “My thoughts went back to the morning of August 1, 1974, when I received that first phone call from Al Haig. And I remembered how cloudy it had been in Washington that day. Now I looked out the window of the plane. The sun was shining brightly. I couldn’t see a cloud anywhere, and I felt glad about that.”

Gerald Ford

Quotes by Gerald Ford:

  Remarks upon granting a pardon to former President Richard Nixon, September 8, 1974: “As we are a nation under God, so I am sworn to uphold our laws with the help of God. And I have sought such guidance and searched my own conscience with special diligence to determine the right thing for me to do with respect to my predecessor in this place, Richard Nixon, and his loyal wife and family. Theirs is an American tragedy in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must.”

  Bicentennial Remarks at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1976: “As we continue our American adventure…all our heroes and heroines of war and peace send us this single, urgent message: though prosperity is a good thing, though compassionate charity is a good thing, though institutional reform is a good thing, a nation survives only so long as the spirit of sacrifice and self-discipline is strong within its people. Independence has to be defended as well as declared; freedom is always worth fighting for; and liberty ultimately belongs only to those willing to suffer for it.”

  Bicentennial Remarks at Independence Hall Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1976: “The world is ever conscious of what Americans are doing, for better or for worse, because the United States today remains that most successful realization of humanity’s universal hope. The world may or may not follow, but we lead because our whole history says we must. Liberty is for all men and women as a matter of equal and inalienable right. The establishment of justice and peace abroad will in large measure depend upon the peace and justice we create here in our own country, for we still show the way.”

  Remarks at his final State of the Union speech, January 12, 1978: “My fellow Americans, I once asked you for your prayers, and now I give you mine. May God guide this wonderful country, its people and those they have chosen to lead them. May our third century be illuminated by liberty and blessed with brotherhood so that we and all who come after us may be the humble servants of thy peace.”

  Remarks upon receiving the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, May 21, 2001: “I have always believed that most people are mostly good, most of the time. I have never mistaken moderation for weakness, nor civility for surrender. As far as I'm concerned, there are no enemies in politics--just temporary opponents who might vote with you on the next Roll Call. . . . The ultimate test of leadership is not the polls you take, but the risks you take. In the short run, some risks prove overwhelming. Political courage can be self-defeating. But the greatest defeat of all would be to live without courage, for that would hardly be living at all.”

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:00 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Leaders



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