Saturday, July 9, 2011

BETTY FORD DIES AT 93! RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Betty Ford, wife of formerPresident Gerald Ford and the founder of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction, has died at the age of 93.

Mrs. Ford died Friday evening in Rancho Mirage surrounded by family members, according to the director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

Barack Obama remembered Mrs. Ford as a "powerful advocate for women's health and women's rights" who "helped reduce the social stigma surrounding addiction."

"Throughout her long and active life, Elizabeth Anne Ford distinguished herself through her courage and compassion," he said in a statement Friday. "Today, we take comfort in the knowledge that Betty and her husband, former President Gerald Ford, are together once more."

Another former first lady, 
Nancy Reagan, issued the following statement on the death of Mrs. Ford:"I was deeply saddened this afternoon when I heard of Betty Ford's death. She has been an inspiration to so many through her efforts to educate women about breast cancer and her wonderful work at the Betty Ford Center. She was Jerry Ford's strength through some very difficult days in our country's history, and I admired her courage in facing and sharing her personal struggles with all of us.

My love and deepest sympathy go out to the entire Ford family at this very sad time.

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