Playing a distinct number of roles in her life, Betty Ford the activist, businesswoman, dancer, fashion model, feminist and the most candid First Lady of the United States (1974-1977) was vocal on a myriad of issues and actively lent her support to a number of causes.
Born in 1918 in Illinois, Betty Ford got married to the former President of United Sates in 1947 and played a pivotal role in garnering support for Gerald R. Ford. Awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her immense contribution to the society, Betty Ford founded the Betty Ford Center for Substance Abuse and Addiction and also served as its first chairwoman. Passionately supporting the cause of the equal rights movement, Betty Ford openly admitted to her ongoing addiction and battle with alcoholism.
In 1974 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy just two weeks after taking on the position of the First Lady. “When other women have this same operation, it doesn’t make any headlines,” she told Time magazine in an interview. “But the fact that I was the wife of the President put it in headlines and brought before the public this particular experience I was going through. It made a lot of women realize that it could happen to them. I’m sure I’ve saved at least one person—maybe more.”
Betty Ford fought through breast cancer and her addition to alcohol while still playing a significant role as an activist, First Lady and mother.Tags: addiction alcoholism breast cancer rehab