President Gerald R. Ford, the nation's only President unelected as either President or Vice President, died last night at his home in Rancho Mirage, CA, at the age of 93. The former University of Michigan football star, distinguished WWII veteran, and 13-term U.S. House Rep assumed the vice presidency after the resignation of Nixon's Veep, Spiro T. Agnew, amidst corruption charges and ascended to the presidency upon the resignation of Nixon under threat of impeachment over the Watergate scandal. Ford was well received by the American public with a high approval rating: however, when the Nebraskan native pardoned President Nixon to "bind up the nation's wounds," his ratings tanked. In his bid for election in his own right in 1976, the moderate Republican barely survived a spirited challenge in the 1976 Republican primaries from Ronald Reagan and narrowly lost his election bid to the Plains peanut farmer who asked people to trust him. Ford was the nation's longest lived president (over a month more than Reagan); the first adopted president (born Leslie King); and the only President to testify in front of a Congressional committee while President. Ford will be remembered as a decent man who helped the nation heal in the painful aftermath of Watergate and Vietnam.
Cf. http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061227/D8M9601G0.html and FNC's Special Report with Britt Hume.