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Death Of President Gerald Ford

The United States mourns the death of former President Gerald R. Ford at the age of ninety-three. President George W. Bush says President Ford "was a great man who devoted the best years of his life" serving the U.S.:

"He was a true gentleman who reflected the best in America's character. Before the world knew his name, he served with distinction in the United States Navy and in the United States Congress."

From 1965 to 1973, Mr. Ford, a Republican, was minority leader of the House of Representatives. In 1973, he was chosen by President Richard M. Nixon to serve as vice president under the terms of the twenty-fifth amendment to the U.S. constitution. Mr. Ford's selection followed the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew, who faced bribery charges.

President Nixon resigned from the presidency in 1974 during the Watergate scandal when it was revealed that Mr. Nixon had knowledge of a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. Vice President Ford then became the thirty-eighth U.S. president and the first to serve without being elected.

President Bush says, "For a nation that needed healing and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when he was needed most":

"During his time in office, the American people came to know President Ford as a man of complete integrity who led our country with common sense and kind instincts."

Among his foreign affairs accomplishments as president, Mr. Ford helped to prevent a new war in the Middle East by providing aid to both Israel and Egypt. He also brokered an interim truce agreement between the two countries. And President Ford and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev set new limitations on nuclear weapons.

In 1976, President Ford, running for a four-year term, lost the election to the democratic candidate, Jimmy Carter. Mr. Carter recalls Mr. Ford as "one of the most admirable public servants and human beings I have ever known." President Bush says the U.S. "mourn[s] the lose of [President Gerald Ford]." "Now this fine man," he said, "will be taken to his rest by a family that will love him always and a nation that will be grateful forever."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.