Mr. and Mrs. Ford

Today would have been President and Mrs. Ford’s 75th wedding anniversary! 

Gerald and Betty Ford on their wedding day at Grace Episcopal Church, October 15, 1948.
B-05-097 / NAID: 6923711
Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

What was the secret to their successful marriage?  In October 1975, Morley Safer asked Mrs. Ford about their marriage in an interview for 60 Minutes.  Her response?  “You don’t go into marriage as a fifty-fifty thing.  You go into it, both of you, as a seventy-thirty proposition.  In other words, I’m giving seventy, he can give thirty.  He’s giving seventy, I give the opposite.  And when you’re going overboard like that, trying to please each other, you can’t help but be happy.”

Betty Ford White House Papers, Box 45, “Sixty Minutes Interview Shown October 10, 1975.”
NAID: 81556868
Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

Jerry and Betty were married 58 years before he passed away in 2006.  Nearly five years later, in 2011, Richard Norton Smith eulogized Mrs. Ford at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids – the same church the Fords married in over 60 years prior.  Smith stated: “More than once in recent years Mrs. Ford asked her children, ‘When are you going to let me go be with my boyfriend?’”  Today, on their diamond anniversary, we imagine the two are dancing together. 

Author: Brooke Clement