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CNN.com reported on Friday, July 8, 2011 the Betty Ford, the widow of late President Gerald Ford and a co-founder of an eponymous addiction center in California, has died at the age of 93, according to the director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

In 1982, Betty Ford and Leonard Firestone founded the Betty Ford Center to serve patients and save families. Per TMZ.com some of the celebrities that have sought treatment at the facility — includes Lindsay LohanChevy Chase,Kelsey GrammerElizabeth TaylorAnna Nicole SmithOzzy OsbourneDrew BarrymoreJohnny CashLiza MinnelliBilly Joel, and David Hasselhoff.

The Betty Ford Center is located at 39000 Bob Hope Dr Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. Mrs. Betty Ford is survived by her four children, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

On Betty Ford Memorial Website at www.BettyFordMemorial.com posted the following statement:

April 8, 1918 – July 8, 2011

The family of President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford issued the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that we inform you that our beloved mother Betty Ford has passed away at 93 years of age. She died peacefully today at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California.

Mother’s love, candor, devotion, and laughter enriched our lives and the lives of the millions she touched throughout this great nation. To be in her presence was to know the warmth of a truly great lady.

Mother’s passing leaves a deep void, but it also fills us with immeasurable appreciation for the life we and Dad shared with her.”

Susan Ford Bales
Steven Meigs Ford
John Gardner Ford
Michael Gerald Ford

Funeral details for Mrs. Betty Ford, wife of the 38th President of the United States Gerald R. Ford, will be provided to both the media and the public and will be posted on www.BettyFordMemorial.comas information becomes available.

For those considering sending flowers or making a contribution in honor of Mrs. Ford, her family has requested that contributions and donations in lieu of flowers be made to the organizations found on the Contributions page.

To send a message of condolence to the Ford family, click here: Condolence Book

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor are offering extended hours in their lobby areas for those who wish to express their sympathy to the Ford family, including signing a condolence book.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Museum lobby will be open 24 hours a day until further notice beginning at 11:00 p.m. on Friday, July 8th in order to enable the public to sign a condolence book. The Museum’s other areas, including all exhibit galleries and the gift store, will be closed for approximately 7 days beginning Saturday, July 9th.

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Library lobby will be closed until Monday, July 11th at 9:00 a.m. and then open 9:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

About Betty Ford: Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren Ford (April 8, 1918 – July 8, 2011[1][2]), better known as Betty Ford, was the wife of former United States President Gerald Ford and served as the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. As First Lady, Ford was active in social policy and shattered precedents as a politically active presidential wife.

Throughout her husband’s term in office, she maintained high approval ratings despite opposition from some conservative Republicans who objected to her more moderate and liberal positions on social issues. Ford was noted for raising breast cancer awareness following her 1974 mastectomy and was a passionate supporter of, and activist for, the Equal Rights AmendmentPro-choice on abortion and a leader in the Women’s Movement, she gained fame as one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time, including feminism, equal payERA, sex, drugs, abortion, and gun control. She also raised awareness of addiction when she announced her long-running battle with alcoholism in the 1970s.

Following her White House years, she continued to lobby for the ERA and remained active in the feminist movement. She is the founder, and served as the first chairwoman of the board of directors, of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction and is a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal (co-presentation with her husband, Gerald R. Ford, October 21, 1998) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (alone, presented 1991, by George H.W. Bush).

About The Betty Ford Center: Betty Ford Center is an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. Often referred to generically, as a drug rehabilitation clinic, the Betty Ford Center provides treatment for alcohol and drug abuse/dependency in a safe, state of the art, licensed addiction hospital. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse/dependency.

Sources: Wikipedia, CNN.com, http://www.bettyfordcenter.org, TMZ.com

Photos credit to: http://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov

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