Gerald R. Ford Jr. served as the 38th President of the United States.
He was the Vice President of the United States during the second term of President Nixon. When Nixon resigned, Ford became the President. He completed the term and wasn’t elected to the office again. In this, Ford is the only person who has served as both the Vice President and the President without being elected to the either office.
Gerald Ford was born in Michigan. After graduation, he went to the Yale Law School to study law. He later enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. Once the war was over, Ford launched his political career. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1949.
He remained in this position for more than two decades. During the second term of President Nixon, he was appointed the Vice President when the previous Vice President was forced to resign.
Gerald Ford as the President
During his second term, President Nixon ran into scandal and controversy when the Watergate Scandal was made public. In the wake of the scandal, Nixon was forced to resign. After his resignation, Gerald Ford became the President. He was not elected to the office, just as he wasn’t elected as the Vice President. He ascended to both positions as a result of unique circumstances.
Gerald Ford’s predecessor had started concluding American involvement in the Vietnam War. During Ford’s presidency, the American role in Vietnam came to a definite end. One of the most controversial measures taken by Ford was to grant presidential pardon to Richard Nixon.
Nixon had been indicted of illegal actions such as wiretapping and coercing political rivals. He would have faced legal charges and punishment had Ford not granted the presidential pardon.
During his Presidency, Gerald Ford faced two assassination attempts. Both attempts took place in September, 1975. Through a stroke of luck and timely intervention of others, President Ford was saved from harm both times. During the second attempt, a bullet shot by the assassin struck only 6 inches from President Ford’s head.
Gerald Ford became President at a time when the relations between Soviet Union and United States were becoming less tense. President Ford continued this policy and took several steps which, together with the efforts of the Soviet Union, ensured a limitation of the arms race between the two nations. At the same time, Ford visited China and continued attempts to foster a more fruitful relationship between the United States and China.
During the 1976 presidential campaign, Gerald Ford decided to run for the office and serve a second term. However, significant opposition existed because of several actions taken by him, especially his presidential pardon for Richard Nixon. Although Ford launched a strong campaign, he ultimately lost the presidential campaign to Jimmy Carter. He later remained active in American politics for a period before facing health issues and retiring from public life.