Betty Ford was the wife of former United States President Gerald R. Ford and served as the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. Betty passed away today at the age of 93. Betty raised awareness of addiction when she announced her long-running battle with alcoholism in the 1970s. She was the founder, and served as the first chairwoman of the board of directors, of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction.
In the opinion of several historians, Betty had more impact upon history and culture than her husband. Betty was noted for raising breast cancer awareness following her 1974 mastectomy and 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, ERA, sex, drugs, abortion, and gun control.
RIP Betty Ford April 8, 1918 – July 8, 2011