Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Gerald Ford: Life in pictures

Former US President Gerald Ford smoking a pipe (file image)

Gerald Ford, president of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977, was the only US president never to win a national election of any kind.

Gerald Ford playing American football at the University of Michigan in 1934

An American football star at the University of Michigan, Gerald Ford turned down the offer of a professional contract to pursue a law degree at Yale.

Mr Ford laughs with his wife, Betty, in a car in an image from 1975

He married Elizabeth Bloomer in 1948, the same year he was elected to Congress for the Republican Party, and the couple went on to have four children.

Mr Ford laughs with US President Richard Nixon after his nomination for vice-president was approved on 6 December 1973

Voted House Republican leader in 1965, he was chosen by President Richard Nixon to serve as his vice-president following the resignation of Spiro Agnew in 1973.

The Fords wave to well-wishers from their quarters at the White House on their 26th wedding anniversary on 15 October 1974

Mr Nixon himself resigned over the Watergate scandal a year later and Mr Ford found himself in the White House at a time when public trust in government was suffering.

Troops guard the US embassy in Saigon on 30 April 1975

He continued a policy of détente towards the Soviet Union and when the Vietnam War ended in 1975, he urged America to heal its wounds and regain its sense of pride.

Mr Ford ducks behind his limousine after a shot was fired at him in San Francisco on 22 September 1975

Mr Ford survived two attempts on his life in late 1975. The second took place in San Francisco, when political activist Sarah Jane Moore shot at him, but he was unhurt.

Ford, pictured with Presidents Richard Nixon (left), Ronald Reagan (second left) and Jimmy Carter (right) in October 1981

He stood for a second term in 1976 but lost narrowly to Jimmy Carter, a loss attributed in part to his decision to grant disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon a full pardon.

Former US President Bill Clinton presents Mr Ford with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999

In August 1999, he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his work to restore confidence in government after the Watergate scandal.

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