Designed by graphic artist Meneese Wall, this beautiful portrait and accompanying biography features First Lady Betty Ford.
Born on April 8, 1918, in Chicago, Betty Bloomer attended the Bennington School of Dance and became a member of Martha Graham’s auxiliary dance troupe. Following a brief marriage to William G. Warren, she married Gerald R. Ford on October 15, 1948, and soon became a congressional wife. The couple raised four children, Michael, Jack, Steven, and Susan, during the twenty-five years Gerald Ford served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Unexpectedly becoming second lady following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, Betty Ford suddenly found herself in the role of first lady of the United States in 1974, following the resignation of President Richard Nixon. As first lady, she was known to be candid and outspoken, publicly breaking with her husband to support causes like the Equal Rights Amendment. She famously revealed her breast cancer diagnosis in 1974, inspiring American women to seek screenings and treatments. After leaving the White House in 1977, she struggled with alcoholism and addiction. In 1982, following her recovery, she founded the Betty Ford Center for addiction treatment. Betty Ford died on July 8, 2011, at the age of ninety-three.