Gerald R. Ford and Adoption

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38th President of the United States



Ford was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. His parents separated a few weeks after he was born and were divorced when he was two. After his mother remarried he was adopted by his step-father, Gerald R. Ford, although his name was not legally changed until 1935.

He did not know that his step-father was not his biological father until 1930, when his father walked up to him without warning and introduced himself.

He spent 25 years in the US House of Representatives and was appointed vice-president in 1973 after the resignation of Spiro Agnew. In 1974 he became president when Richard Nixon resigned, making him the only non-elected president in American history, but he was defeated in the 1976 election by Jimmy Carter.

He seldom saw his birth father after the divorce.


Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 Who's Who, 1997 Who's Who in America, 1996 Huckshorn, Robert J. "The American Presidency. Gerald Ford: Biography." [Includes portrait]. Available at: "Gerald R. Ford Biography." [Includes portraits]. Available at: and also at [without the portraits]: