Former US First Lady Betty Ford Dies

Society » OBITUARIES | July 9, 2011, Saturday // 13:14| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Former US First Lady Betty Ford Dies Former US First Lady Betty Ford has died at the age of 93. Photo by darik news.

Betty Ford, the widow of the late US President Gerald Ford, died Friday at the age of 93.

After managing to overcome her addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs, the former first lady set up a clinic for the treatment of substance abuse, the Betty Ford Center.

Time Magazine has referred to Mrs. Ford as the "fighting first lady" due to her outspoken political   which often diverged from those of her husband's Republican Party, according to the report of cbs news.

Ford won acclaim for her candor, courage and tolerance.

She was among the early campaigners against breast cancer, having undergone a radical mastectomy in 1974.

Her frank discussions about her disease helped raise awareness about the disease and she eventually took the same approach toward her alcoholism, which she battled even as first lady.

She was also known for her tolerant views on abortion, marijuana and pre-marital sex.

She was a strong advocate for women's rights while her husband was president from 1974 to 1977, working actively for the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment, which sought to give women and men equal treatment under law.

Born April 8, 1918, in Chicago, Elizabeth Bloomer was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

She wanted to be a dancer and studied under Martha Graham and modeled in New York before returning to Grand Rapids and marrying a furniture salesman. They divorced after five years and she married Ford in 1948.

In her later years, Betty Ford disappeared from the public view but reappeared when her husband died at the age of 58 in 2006.

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Tags: first lady, Gerald Ford, Betty Ford, US President, Republican Party, Equal Rights Amendment, abortion
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