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Betty Ford Dead: A Look Back At The Former First Lady (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 07/08/2011 10:25 pm   Updated: 09/07/2011 5:12 am

Former First Lady Betty Ford passed away at age 93 on Friday. President Barack Obama released the following statement on behalf of himself and Michelle:

Throughout her long and active life, Elizabeth Anne Ford distinguished herself through her courage and compassion. As our nation's First Lady, she was a powerful advocate for women's health and women's rights. After leaving the White House, Mrs. Ford helped reduce the social stigma surrounding addiction and inspired thousands to seek much-needed treatment. While her death is a cause for sadness, we know that organizations such as the Betty Ford Center will honor her legacy by giving countless Americans a new lease on life.
Betty will be remembered perhaps not for her sartorial sense but for her in-office, leading lady style during the '70s. From her family Christmas cards and patchwork-trimmed tree to public dances with husband Gerald and stolen moments snapped by photographers, take a look back at the life and times of Betty Ford.

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  • 1938

    Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren Ford, wife of American president Gerald Ford. Her recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction prompted her to help establish the Betty Ford Centre for other sufferers. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)

  • 1948

    Newlyweds Gerald and Betty Ford pose for a wedding photograph in Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on October 15, 1948. The former first lady Betty Ford died on Friday, July 8, 2011. She was 93. (Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Libary/MCT via Getty Images)

  • 1949

    In this Jan. 4, 1949 file picture, Rep. Gerald R. Ford, Jr. of the Fifth Michigan District, and his wife Betty Ford stand on the inaugural stands in Lansing, Mich. (AP photo)

  • 1960

    Rep. Gerald Ford and wife Betty stand among campaign signs at the Republican National Convention in Chicago. (Photo by Ed Clarity/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

  • 1972

    Representative Gerald R. Ford relaxes with his wife Betty Ford while deep-sea fishing during a Caribbean vacation in this undated 1972 handout photo. he former President passed away at his home in California December 26, 2006. He was 93. (Photo Courtesty of Gerald R. Ford Library via Getty Images)

  • 1973

    Vice presidential nominee Gerald R. Ford poses for a family picture with his wife and children during the Christmas season in October of 1973. The children from left to right are: Jack, Susan, Steven, and Michael. (AP photo)

  • 1973

    President Gerald and Betty Ford relaxing at the Mauna Kea resort, December, 1973 in Hawaii. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

  • 1974

    U.S. Vice President Gerald R. Ford and wife Betty, dressed up for a costume party, pose for this 1974 photo in front of their house in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

  • 1974

    In this Sept. 25, 1974 black-and-white file photo, first lady Betty Ford, right, and Mrs. Giovanni Leone, wife of then-Italian President Leone, watch as their husbands review the honor guard on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP photo)

  • 1974

    U.S. Chief Justice Warren Burger, right, administers the oath of office to Gerald R. Ford as the 38th President of the United States in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., Aug. 9, 1974. Betty Ford holds the Bible at center. (AP photo)

  • 1974

    First Lady Betty Ford watches as her husband President Gerald R. Ford open his gift from her during the family's first visit of the presidency to their usual Christmas holiday vacation spot on December 22, 1974 in Vail, Colorado. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

  • 1975

    First Lady Betty Ford, wife of Gerald R Ford, the 38th President of the United States, waves to photographers from the lawn of the White House, Washington, D.C. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • 1975

    First Lady Betty Ford and President Gerald R. Ford stand in the Oval Office in 1975 the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/ Getty Images)

  • 1975

    President Gerald R. Ford, First Lady Betty Ford and youngest child Susan Ford, take their dog Liberty on a stroll through the walkways in the woods of Camp David on August 7, 1976 in Thurmont, Maryland. The youngest of the Ford children, Susan has been the only child who has lived at the White House for any period of time. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

  • 1975

    (AP photo)

  • 1976

    First Lady Betty Ford offers some comment on the presidential election as she chats with newsmen at the White House, June 10, 1976. Commenting on Ronald Reagan, she said, "I don't see how he could possibly be elected." (AP photo)

  • 1976

    First Lady Betty Ford gets a round of applause form the crowd and a smile from the President, Gerald Ford, as she dances at the National Symphony Ball in Washington D.C. on Dec. 4, 1976. (AP photo)

  • 1976

    President Gerald Ford, right, stands with Queen Elizabeth II and first lady Betty Ford joins Prince Philip, July 10, 1976, as they go to dinner aboard the yacht Britannia. The Fords were guests of the royal family on the yacht docked at the U.S. Navy base in Newport, R.I.

  • 1976

    In this Dec, 9, 1976, file photo first lady Betty Ford looks over decorations and presents under the White House Christmas Tree in Washington in the Blue Room of the presidential mansion in Washington. In 1974 Betty Ford went with a patchwork-trimmed tree, and distributed instructions so families around the country could make their own decorations. (AP photo)

  • 1977

    In this Jan. 19, 1977 file picture, President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty Ford pause for a moment as they continue packing at the White House in Washington. (AP photo)

  • 1977

    In this Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1977 file photo, first lady Betty Ford pauses during her packing to look over mementos in the Ford bedroom at the White House in Washington, D.C. (AP photo)

  • 1985

    Actress Elizabeth Taylor presents the "Commitment to Life" award to former First Lady Betty Ford in Los Angeles, Thursday evening, September 20, 1985, during the black tie, $250-$500-a-plate AIDS benefit, "Commitment to Life." (AP photo)

  • 1997

    Former first lady Betty Ford, whose name became a synonym for dealing with addiction, places a rose plant into the garden at The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Monday May 12, 1997 in Yorba Linda, Calif. Ford was scheduled to give a rare public speech before a crowd of about 400. (AP photo)

  • 2003

    Five former first ladies gather for a group photo at a gala 20th anniversary fundraising event saluting Betty Ford and the Betty Ford Center Friday, Jan. 17, 2003, in Indian Wells, Calif. From left are Rosalynn Carter, Barbara Bush, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. President and Mrs. George W. Bush sent a videotaped tribute. Some 600 guests raised $1.6 million for financial assistance for patients who cannot afford to pay for treatment. (AP photo)

  • 2006

    Former President Gerald Ford and former first lady Betty Ford smile from the front of their house as President Bush, not pictured, leaves after visiting with them at their home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Sunday, April 23, 2006. (AP photo)