Happy Birthday Betty

On this day in 1918, Elizabeth Anne Bloomer was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Hortense and William Bloomer. The youngest of three children and the only girl, “Betty” grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she studied and taught dance, worked as a model, and graduated from Central High School. Betty married her second husband, Gerald R. Ford, Jr., in 1948 at Grace Episcopal Church, and the young couple moved to Washington, DC, shortly thereafter upon “Jerry’s” election to the House of Representatives as a congressman from Michigan.

Today, we share these photos to commemorate Mrs. Ford and her indelible legacy as an advocate and activist for equal rights and physical and mental health.

First Lady Betty Ford dances on the Cabinet Room table on January 19, 1977 – the day before departing the White House upon the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter.
B2843-09A / NAID: 45644161
Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library