President Gerald Ford: Vital Statistics

About the vital statistics of President Gerald Ford, where and when he was born.



Born: July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebr. His name at birth was Leslie Lynch King, Jr.-he was the son of Dorothy Gardner King and Leslie King, a western wool dealer. When the boy was 2 years old, his parents were divorced, and his mother took him with her back to her family's home in Grand Rapids, Mich. Shortly thereafter, she married a paint salesman named Gerald Rudolph Ford. Ford agreed to adopt young Leslie as his own son, and the boy's name was changed to Gerald R. Ford, Jr. As he was growing up, he was known neither as Gerald nor Leslie-everyone called him Junior, or "Junie" for short. The facts about his birth and adoption were kept secret from Junior until he was 16, and his younger half-brothers didn't learn the truth until later-when they stumbled onto the formal adoption papers one day while rummaging through the attic. Ford saw his real father only twice-once while he was in high school in Grand Rapids, and once as a law student at Yale. Both visits were brief and unfriendly, and Ford had no intention of following up his father's pleas for further contacts. It is believed that Leslie L. King, Sr.-father of the future President-died some time in the 1940s, but the details are uncertain.

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