Former First Lady Betty Ford Dies At 93

July 8, 2011

Betty Ford, former First Lady and founder of the rehab facility, The Betty Ford Clinic, died Friday at age 93. The wife of President Gerald Ford was surrounded by family members at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage when she passed. No other details regarding her death have been released.

Betty Ford

Her family released a statement Friday evening:

“Mother’s love, candor, devotion, and laughter enriched our lives and the lives of the millions she touched throughout this great nation. To be in her presence was to know the warmth of a truly great lady.”

She truly was an amazing woman. Her honesty on subjects such as abortion, marijuana, pre-marital sex, etc etc left many of the White House staff to squirm, but her husband once said that it was that quality about her that he loved so much. Her infamous 60 Minutes interview with Morley Safer back in 1975 left her then 18-year-old daughter Susan none too happy with her. Safer asked the former First Lady how she would feel if her daughter had an affair, she replied, ‘Well, I wouldn’t be surprised. I’d think she was a perfectly normal human being.” In the interview, she also spoke about how she thought her children had probably smoked marijuana. She would later reveal that perhaps she was ‘too candid’.

She spoke openly about her breast cancer, which was diagnosed just a month after her husband was sworn in as President. She wanted women to know how important early detection was, and because of that, scores of women would go in for screenings, thus saving thousands of lives.

After her time at the White House, an intervention was staged by her family to address her alcohol and prescription drugs use. She checked into rehab and was successful in beating her addiction. She co-founded The Betty Ford Clinic in 1982 and has helped many, including celebrities, battle their addictions.

Here is a snippet of what President Obama had to say about Mrs. Ford:

‘As our nation’s First Lady, she was a powerful advocate for women’s health and women’s rights. After leaving the White House, Mrs. Ford helped reduce the social stigma surrounding addiction and inspired thousands to seek much-needed treatment. While her death is a cause for sadness, we know that organizations such as the Betty Ford Center will honor her legacy by giving countless Americans a new lease on life.’

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Ford family during this very difficult time. RIP Betty Ford…you will truly be missed.

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