Photo: Ford Museum
Former First Lady, Betty Ford has passed away at the age of 93. Details have not been released, but it’s being reported that she died Friday morning, surrounded by family members.
“…In 1978, just over one year after leaving the White House after her husband lost his campaign to remain president, Ford made headlines of a different kind. She entered the Long Beach Naval Hospital to be treated for alcohol and prescription painkiller abuse. That same year, she published the first of two autobiographies, entitled “The Times of My Life.” Ford would go on to become a high-profile example of someone who battled substance abuse issues, as well as a tireless advocate for treatment.
Her work paid dividends in October 1982 when, along with Leonard Firestone, she opened the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California. To this day, the center remains one of the most well-known and respected places nationwide for treatment of alcoholism and other drug dependencies.”
Betty Ford made the idea of addiction less shameful by creating her well-respected treatment centers, which opened the door for discussion of substance abuse in our Nation as a whole. I’m sure we all have someone in our lives–or even ourselves–who can give thanks to the work Mrs. Ford brought to the forefront. She was a true pioneer, who walked the walk.
Rest in peace, Mrs. Ford.