Former President Gerald Ford Dies

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

First Lady Betty Ford says her late husband was a "beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather."

Her statement does not list a cause of death for the former president, but Ford had battled pneumonia in January and underwent two heart treatments in August.

He was the longest living president, followed by Ronald Reagan, who also died at 93.

Ford had been living at his desert home in Rancho Mirage, California, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles.

President bush is remembering President Ford as a "gentleman who reflected the best in American character" who helped heal a nation divided by Watergate.

In a live televised statement this morning from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Mister Bush said Ford "came along when we needed him most."

Bush is staying at the ranch for the holidays.

Bush noted that Ford helped restore Americans' confidence in the White House by the "honorable conduct of his administration."

The president says Ford was a man of "complete integrity."

Vice President Richard Cheney was Ford's chief of staff. He says Ford gave the country the "strength, wisdom and good judgment" it needed as it faced its "greatest constitutional crisis since the civil war."

The vice president went on to say that when Ford left office, "he had restored public trust in the presidency, and the nation once again looked to the future with confidence and faith."

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