Betty Ford has died at the age of 93 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Betty Ford has died at the age of 93

CNN -

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.

Ford died Friday evening with family at her bedside, according to a family member.

Elaine Didier, the director of the Grand Rapids, Michigan, museum, confirmed Ford's death to CNN.

No other details were immediately available.

Born Elizabeth Anne Bloomer in Chicago, she grew up in Grand Rapids. At the age of 21, she moved to New York City to work as a dancer and model before heading back to the Midwest two years later.

One year after divorcing William Warren after five years of marriage, she wed Gerald Ford -- a former star football player at the University of Michigan and a decorated U.S. Navy veteran -- in 1948. That year, the woman now known as Betty Ford campaigned with her new husband on his successful campaign to become a U.S. congressman.

The family moved to Washington, where Gerald Ford served in the Capitol for 25 years prior to his being tapped, in 1973, as then-President Richard Nixon's vice president in place of Spiro T. Agnew.

Just over 10 months later, Betty Ford became first lady when her husband was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States.

She soon made headlines, discussing abortion, pre-marital sex and equal rights on CBS' "60 Minutes" and being named as Newsweek's 1975 "Woman of the Year."

But in 1978, just over one year after leaving the White House after her husband lost his campaign to remain president, Ford made headlines of a different kind. She entered the Long Beach Naval Hospital to be treated for alcohol and prescription painkiller abuse.

That same year, she published the first of two autobiographies, entitled "The Times of My Life." Ford would go on to become a high-profile example of someone who battled substance abuse issues, as well as a tireless advocate for treatment.

Her work paid dividends in October 1982 when, along with Leonard Firestone, she opened the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California. To this day, the center remains one of the most well-known and respected places nationwide for treatment of alcoholism and other drug dependencies.

Ford also fought to promote awareness and research on breast cancer, with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation eventually naming an award in her honor.

She earned numerous honors over her life, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1991 and the Congressional Gold Medal eight years later.

Her husband, Gerald Ford, died in 2006.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Syracuse fraternity permanently expelled over racist video

    Syracuse fraternity permanently expelled over racist video

    Saturday, April 21 2018 5:46 PM EDT2018-04-21 21:46:07 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 1:59 AM EDT2018-04-23 05:59:03 GMT
    Syracuse University permanently expels fraternity for "extremely racist" video. (Source: WSYR/CNN)Syracuse University permanently expels fraternity for "extremely racist" video. (Source: WSYR/CNN)

    Syracuse University has permanently expelled a fraternity over an offensive video that fraternity members say was intended as satire.

    Syracuse University has permanently expelled a fraternity over an offensive video that fraternity members say was intended as satire.

  • Macron to push Trump on Iran deal, says there's no 'Plan B'

    Macron to push Trump on Iran deal, says there's no 'Plan B'

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:04 AM EDT2018-04-22 15:04:45 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 1:57 AM EDT2018-04-23 05:57:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Michel Euler). France's President Emmanuel Macron walks out of the lobby of the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday, April 20, 2018, to welcome Senegalese President Macky Sall. Senegalese President Macky Sall is in France for a five-day visit.(AP Photo/Michel Euler). France's President Emmanuel Macron walks out of the lobby of the Elysee Palace in Paris, Friday, April 20, 2018, to welcome Senegalese President Macky Sall. Senegalese President Macky Sall is in France for a five-day visit.

    French President Emmanuel Macron is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to stick with the Iranian nuclear accord, arguing that there's no "Plan B".

    French President Emmanuel Macron is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to stick with the Iranian nuclear accord, arguing that there's no "Plan B".

  • White House: No plans by Trump to fire Mueller, Rosenstein

    White House: No plans by Trump to fire Mueller, Rosenstein

    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:05 PM EDT2018-04-22 18:05:12 GMT
    Monday, April 23 2018 1:48 AM EDT2018-04-23 05:48:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, then-President-elect Donald Trump, right, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani pose for photographs as Giuliani arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse i...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2016, file photo, then-President-elect Donald Trump, right, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani pose for photographs as Giuliani arrives at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse i...

    The White House says President Donald Trump has no intention of firing special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    The White House says President Donald Trump has no intention of firing special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Powered by Frankly