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Famous Adoptees or Adopters

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Gerald Ford, 38th president of the United States (1913–2006)


Ford's parents divorced when he was an infant, and his mother later married paint salesman Gerald R. Ford. According to Ford's presidential library, "The Fords began calling her son Gerald R. Ford, Jr., although his name was not legally changed until December 3, 1935."

Ford became president of the United States after the Watergate scandal forced Richard Nixon from office in 1974. Though he served as president for only 29 months, Ford is now widely credited with restoring public faith in the office of the president after the scandals of the Nixon years. Ford served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was elected to Congress in 1948 as a U.S. Representative from Michigan. Ford was appointed vice president in 1973 when Nixon's previous vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned after pleading no contest to a tax evasion charge. Nixon himself resigned on 9 August 1974, and Ford took office the same day, telling Americans that "our long national nightmare is over." One month later, Ford granted Nixon a full pardon for any crimes. Ford ran for re-election in 1976, but lost to Jimmy Carter. Excerpted from Who2.

Fun Fact: At 93 years, Ford was the longest-lived president in U.S. history; the month before his death, he passed the previous record holder, Ronald Reagan.

Photo source: Library of Congress

Next: John Hancock, political leader in the American Revolution (1737–1793)

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