President Gerald Ford: Little-known Facts and Trivia

Some little-known facts and trivia about the President of the United States Gerald Ford.


--During the 1930s, a group of young socialists was going around Grand Rapids painting slogans on the walls of public buildings. Football hero Jerry Ford soon emerged as the leader of a group of South High School athletes dedicated to putting a stop to such un-American activities. In one after-dark expedition, they caught the "Reds" at work, ordered them to stop, and then poured the paint over their heads.

--Ford is our only President who has worked as a professional male model. In 1939, while he was coaching football and studying law at Yale, Ford's girl friend, Phyllis Brown, persuaded him to invest some money in a New York modeling agency. Later, Ford joined Phyllis and a Look magazine photographer on an expedition to model winter sports clothing at a ski resort in Vermont. Look used 21 pictures of Ford and Phyllis in a feature article on a weekend in the life of "the beautiful people."

--On the day of his wedding, Ford was so nervous that it is reported that he appeared at the ceremony wearing one brown and one black shoe.

--As the congressman from Grand Rapids, Ford kept a Polaroid camera permanently mounted on a tripod in his office. Whenever visitors from "back home" appeared in Washington, they had their pictures taken with the smiling congressman. If Ford himself wasn't there, the guests were photographed while sitting at his impressive desk.

--It was Congressman Gerald Ford--not Richard Nixon or Attorney General John Mitchell--who was originally responsible for bringing Watergate "mastermind" Gordon Liddy to Washington. Ford had met Liddy on a campaign tour in upstate New York in '68, and agreed to help the former FBI agent get a job in the new Republican Administration. Ford wrote a letter on Liddy's behalf, and then followed it up with timely phone calls to Treasury Dept. officials. Finally, thanks to Ford's help, Liddy was appointed to the anticrime division of the Treasury Dept. More than 4 years later, after Liddy's leading role in the Watergate break-in had been made public, Ford commented: "I didn't pay any attention to Liddy. . . . He was just one of the many persons I tried to help get jobs at the time."

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