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Gerald R. Ford
Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (July 14, 1913 - December 26, 2006) born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. was the thirty-eighth President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the fortieth Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974. He was the first person appointed to the vice-presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment, and became President upon Richard Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974. Ford was the fifth U.S. President never to have been elected to that position, and the only one never to have won any national election. Currently, he is also the longest-lived president in U.S. history, living to age 93.
As President, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, marking a move toward détente in the Cold War. Compared with his predecessors, Ford's policies were less directed towards intervention in Vietnamese affairs. Domestically, the economy suffered from inflation and a recession during his tenure. One of his more controversial decisions was granting a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal. In 1976, Ford narrowly defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination, but ultimately lost the presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter by a small margin.
Following his years as president, Ford remained active in the Republican party. After experiencing health problems and being admitted to the hospital four times in 2006, Ford died at his home on December 26, 2006.