Betty Ford Biography
(Former First Lady of the United States)
Birthday: April 8, 1918 (Aries)
Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Betty Ford, or Elizabeth Anne Ford, was the wife of the 38th U.S. president, Gerald Ford, and thus the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. She was also the Second Lady of the United States from 1973 to 1974, when Ford served as the 40th U.S. vice president. Elizabeth was quite active and candid in her support of different social causes during her tenure as the First Lady. Although such endeavors at times met with opposition from a few conservative ‘Republicans,’ this did not deter Elizabeth in her pursuits. She emerged as an exemplar of a politically active presidential spouse. Elizabeth later suffered from breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. She also battled with alcoholism and substance abuse and later raised awareness on such issues. She backed the ‘Equal Rights Amendment’ (ERA) and the abortion rights movement. A leader of the ‘Women's Movement,’ Elizabeth is considered one of the most outspoken first ladies in history. She raised her voice on several sensitive social issues, including sex, drugs, abortion, feminism, equal pay, and the ‘ERA.’ She co-founded the ‘Betty Ford Center,’ a residential treatment center to overcome substance dependence. She also served as its first chair of the board of directors. Later in her life, Elizabeth received the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom.’ She also received the ‘Congressional Gold Medal,’ along with her husband.