Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Betty Ford. Ford is best known as the wife of Gerald Ford, the President that granted Nixon an official Pardon, and for her struggle with alcoholism, which she turned into advocacy, thus creating the Betty Ford Clinic.
Ford was one of the first First Ladies that had a rather public and intimate relationship with the media, hence The New York Times describing Betty Ford with: “Mrs. Ford’s impact on American culture may be far wider and more lasting than that of her husband.” Ford was candid about her views on premarital sex, marijuana, and therapy. By all standards of the current Republican Party, neither she nor her late husband, both of whom supported LGBT rights, would have been Republicans.
For those of us that grew up in the 1970’s, it was great seeing the First Lady wearing a “mood” ring, and using a CB, with the handle, “First Mama.” She also made a guest appearance on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Ford was a fierce advocate of equal rights for women; being quite vocal with her support for the passage of the ERA. In 1977, Ford joined former First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson and Rosalynn Carter at the National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas.
In 1982, Ford started the Betty Ford Center for the treatment of chemical dependencies. In 1987 she published her memoir: Betty: A Glad Awakening. It is a great pleasure to honor Betty Ford, a dedicated voice to social justice, with an honest and passionate voice.
See most recent post on Betty Ford Here.