President Gerald Ford: Physical Description, Behavior and Personality

About the physical description, behavior, and personality of President of the United States Gerald Ford, his height, weight.


His Person: Ford is more than 6' tall, and he maintains the sharp, erect bearing and broad shoulders of a former athlete. Even at 61, he keeps his weight at 203--only 4 lbs. over his football-playing weight of 40 years ago. He has deep blue eyes and thinning, graying, blond hair. His nose, according to a veteran Grand Rapids reporter, was "obviously damaged on the football field." His admirers claim there is a close physical resemblance between Ford and George Washington.

In order to keep in shape, Ford swims twice daily for 20 minutes at a time and plays occasional rounds of golf (scoring as low as 86). He limits lunch to a salad, or to cottage cheese smothered with ketchup--the same lunch that Richard Nixon enjoyed during his years as Vice-President. Ford also has a passion for raw onions--which makes after-lunch conferences uncomfortable, even for some of his closest associates. His favorite dessert is pecan ice cream with fresh peach slices--but he indulges himself only occasionally. For years, Ford relaxed every evening with 2 or 3 dry martinis, with a pair of olives in each, but since he has become President he has tried to cut down to 1 or 2 martinis a day. He also enjoys Bourbon and water, and often smokes Edgeworth or Sir Walter Raleigh pipe tobacco.

Ford has been described as a happy extrovert who likes people enormously. As Vice-president, he tried to memorize the 1st names of all 60 Secret Service agents assigned to him--but he did not quite succeed. Since his youth, he has always been the center of attention from the moment he walks into a room. According to an aide, in "a one-to-one situation he will charm you right out of your socks."

Ford freely admits that he almost never reads books, but he finds time on Monday nights and Sunday afternoons to watch professional foot-ball games on TV. On these treasured occasions, he sits glued to the screen, calling plays out loud and exulting when the teams follow his suggestions. As a congressman, he also enjoyed watching his sons play football for their high school teams--even though on several occasions they seriously injured themselves. Picking up the paper every morning at 6 A.M., Ford generally turns straight to the sports section.

Friends have always been amazed at Jerry's stamina--he can often manage his grueling schedule on just 4 hours' sleep. No matter how trying his day has been, his wife reports that Ford has little difficulty falling asleep. "He hits the pillow and bang--he's asleep." During his service as Vice-President, however, Betty awoke one night to hear her husband talking in his sleep. "He kept saying, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.' He was in a receiving line."

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