Donnie Radcliffe
Washington Post
July 9, 2011

Betty Ford, a self-proclaimed “ordinary” woman who never cared for political life but made a liberating adventure out of her 30 months as first lady, died Friday at age 93. Details of her death and where she died were not immediately available.

“I decided that if the White House was our fate,” she once said of Gerald Ford’s brief presidency, “I might as well have a good time doing it.”

To the surprise of some and the consternation of others, Ms. Ford evolved as an activist first lady whose non-threatening manner coupled with her newfound celebrity provided the women’s movement with an impressive ally. Undaunted by critics, she campaigned for ratification of the ill-starred Equal Rights Amendment, championed liberalized abortion laws and lobbied her husband to name more women to policymaking government jobs.

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