Obit-Gerald Ford: Accidental President

By: AP
By: AP

He had never run on a national ticket, but Gerald Ford wound up an accidental president.

He was President Richard Nixon's hand-picked successor to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew, who also was forced from office by scandal.

Ford wound up being as open and straight-forward as Nixon was tightly controlled and conspiratorial.

Ford took office minutes after Nixon flew off into exile and declared "our long national nightmare is over."

But Ford revived the debate a month later by granting Nixon a pardon for all crimes he committed as president.

That single act, it was widely believed, cost Ford election to a term of his own in 1976.

Years later, Ford was praised for committing a courageous act that allowed the nation to move on.


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