The Family History of Gerald Ford | Gerald Ford Genealogy
Upon assuming the office of President after the resignation of President Richard Nixon, he declared that “I assume the Presidency under extraordinary circumstances.” In fact, Ford had never even been elected to the position of Vice President, having only been appointed to that office upon the resignation of Spiro Agnew.
As such, Ford ascended to the office of President in the wake of two scandals and the resignation of a Vice President and a President. One of his first acts as President was to pardon former President Richard Nixon in what was to be the most controversial acts of presidency. While President, Ford escaped two assassination attempts on his life. Ford went on to become the oldest living president at the time he died.
Gerald Ford was born on July 14, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents were Leslie Lynch King and Dorothy Ayer Gardner. Originally named Leslie Lynch King, Jr., after his mother got divorced, Ford assumed the name of his new stepfather. After starring on the University of Michigan football team, he rejected offers to play professional football and instead went to law school and eventually entered politics.
On his mother’s side, Ford is descended from Charlemagne, William “the Conqueror”, and from Arthur Howland, brother of Mayflower passenger John Howland and himself a passenger on the second ship to Plymouth, Massachusetts. President Ford also shares a common descent from Joseph Holley with President Barack Obama (is his 10th cousin).