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Obituary: Betty Ford

Betty Ford

Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren Ford: 8th April 1918 – 8th July 2011.

Betty Ford was the wife of the former President of the United States, Gerald Ford, and served as the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977.

Famous for her candid opinions and limitless energy, the former First Lady was best known for setting up the Betty Ford Center for alcohol and chemical addiction following her own problems with alcohol and sleeping tablet abuse.

The First Lady was also an inspiration for breast cancer patients, publicly announcing her mastectomy, which took place in 1974. Upon her death, the US breast cancer campaigner Nancy G. Brinker (who founded Susan G Komen for the Cure) said:

“On behalf of the entire Susan G. Komen for the Cure family, we mourn the passing of Betty Ford, widow of President Gerald Ford. Betty Ford opened the door for millions of women when she candidly acknowledged her breast cancer diagnosis at a time when we didn’t talk about this disease and untold numbers of women suffered in silence. She showed the world that breast cancer could be faced with courage, with humor and with great dignity. Like so many, I relied on her advice and wisdom, and I will be forever grateful that she gave life, hope and voice to this movement and to generations of women to come. She was a mentor, a friend and a woman whose example we all strive to follow.”

Mrs Ford survived her husband by nearly five years.

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