First Lady: Elizabeth “Betty” Anne Bloomer Ford
Elizabeth “Betty” Anne Bloomer was born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 8, 1918. Her parents, Hortense Neahr and William Stephenson Bloomer, moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, when she was only three. She took dance throughout her youth and used it to help earn money for the family during the Great Depression. As she grew older, she studied under Martha Graham and then moved to Manhattan to become a model before coming back home to become a fashion buyer at a department store.
Betty Bloomer married a childhood sweetheart named William G. Warren in 1942. They divorced in 1947. She then began dating Ford, and the couple was married on October 15, 1948.
Together they had three sons — Michael Gerald, John Gardner, and Steven Meigs — and one daughter named Susan Elizabeth.
As first lady, Betty Ford was very open about her private life. She spoke openly about undergoing psychiatric treatment. She was a huge advocate for women's rights, including the Equal Rights Amendment and the legalization of abortion. She spoke out about breast cancer awareness after her own mastectomy.
Susan Elizabeth was a high school student while her father was president. In fact, her senior class prom took place in the East room at the White House on May 31, 1975. Two bands played until 1:00 A.M., and food was served in the state dining room.
After Ford's retirement, it came out that Betty Ford was an alcoholic and was addicted to pain relievers. She recovered and opened the Betty Ford Center in 1982 to help others who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. She is still on the Center's Board of Directors.