Timeline Description: Gerald Ford was the 38th president of the United States. He is the first person to serve as both vice-president and president without ever being elected to either office. He served as president at a time when the nation was reeling from the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, but lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter in his campaign to win the presidency outright in 1976.
|July 14, 1913||Gerald Ford is born in Omaha, Nebraska.
Gerald Ford is born to Dorothy Ayer Gardner King in Omaha, Nebraska. His given name at birth is Leslie Lynch King but his name is changed when his mother remarries Gerald R. Ford, who adopts young Leslie.
|1932||Ford plays football for the national champion University of Michigan (Fall 1932).
A star athlete, Ford plays center and linebacker for the University of Michigan Wolverines football team. The team wins national championships in 1932 and 1933.
|September 1935||Ford accepts a job coaching football and boxing at Yale University.
While attending law school at Yale, Ford also helps coach the university's boxing and football teams. He had already turned down contract offers from the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions to play professional football in the NFL.
|April 13, 1942||Ford joins the Navy.
Ford's law career is interrupted by World War II. He joins the U.S. Navy and reaches the rank of lieutenant commander. He is honorably discharged in February 1946.
|October 15, 1948||Ford marries Betty Bloomer.
Fashion coordinator and dance teacher Betty Bloomer marries Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They will remain married for 58 years, until Ford's death in 2006.
|November 2, 1948||Ford is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ford is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing his home district in Michigan. Voters will re-elect the Republican congressman 12 times.
|November 1963||Ford is appointed to the Warren Commission.
President Lyndon Johnson appoints Ford to the Warren Commission, charged with investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Ford secretly kept the FBI informed of the Warren Commission's activities.
|January 4, 1965||Ford is selected as House Minority Leader.
Ford is selected as the House Minority Leader as the 89th Congress opens. He will hold that position until he resigns his seat in Congress to become vice-president.
|December 6, 1973||Following the resignation of Spiro Agnes, Ford becomes vice-president of the United States.
Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigns on October 10, 1973 due to income tax evasion dating back to his days as the governor of Maryland. President Richard Nixon nominates Ford as Agnew's replacement and Ford takes office on December 6. Within a year, Nixon will resign due to his role in the Watergate scandal.
|August 9, 1974||Ford becomes president of the United States.
Following the resignation of President Richard Nixon, Ford becomes the new president of the United States. He is the only person to become president without being elected to either the office of vice-president or president.
|September 8, 1974||Ford pardons Nixon.
Ford uses his presidential authority to pardon Richard Nixon for any crimes he may have committed in the Watergate scandal. Ford addressed the nation and said he felt that it was important for the country to move on rather than see its former president be dragged through legal proceedings.
|September 5, 1975||Squeaky Fromme attempts to assassinate Ford in California.
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a supporter of serial killer Charles Manson, fails in her attempt to shoot and kill Ford as he walked to the Capitol building in Sacramento, California. A Secret Service agent managed to grab the gun and put the web of his hand in the gun's firing mechanism, preventing it from going off.
|September 22, 1975||Ford survives a second assassination attempt in California.
Sara Jane Moore fires a gun at Ford as he leaves the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, California. However, her shot misses and goes over Ford's head after a former Marine sees her and lunges toward her, disrupting her aim.
|November 2, 1976||Jimmy Carter defeats Ford in the presidential election.
Ford loses a close election to Jimmy Carter. When Carter assumes office in January 1977, Ford's career in politics comes to an end.
|December 26, 2006||Ford dies in Rancho Mirage, California.
Ford dies at the age of 93, living longer than any other president. He is interred in a tomb at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan.