On Thursday, February 1, 1917, Dorothy married Grand Rapids native, Gerald Rudolff Ford (December 9, 1890 – January 26, 1962).
- With the second marriage, Dorothy’s son became known as Gerald Rudolff Ford, Jr., although his stepfather never formally adopted him.
- Eighteen years later, young Gerald legally changed his name, but with the substitution of Rudolph for Rudolff.
Young Gerald segued into politics after devoting four years to the service of his country during World War II (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945). Commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on Monday, April 13, 1942, Gerald resigned, with the rank of Lieutenant Commander, on Friday, June 28, 1946.
As Republican congressman for Michigan's 5th district, Gerald served 13 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, for 24 years 11+ months, from Monday, January 3, 1949, to Thursday, December 6, 1973.
Beginning on Sunday, January 3, 1965, Republican representatives honored Gerald with selection as their House Leader, a position which he held until December 6, 1973.
On December 6, 1973, Gerald's appointment as 40th Vice President of the United States -- to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Spiro Agnew (November 9, 1918 – September 17, 1996) -- comprised the first invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, which concerns presidential succession and vice-presidential vacancies.
- The second invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment occurred on Friday, August 9, 1974, with Gerald's succession to the presidency upon the resignation of 37th U.S. President Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994).
- The third invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment occurred on Thursday, December 19, 1974, with the appointment of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) as 41st Vice President of the United States.
On Sunday, September 8, 1974, Gerald issued Presidential Proclamation 4311 Granting Pardon to Richard Nixon.
The controversial pardon cast a long, dark shadow over Gerald's brief, 895-day presidency, which ended with his defeat by Democrat presidential candidate James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) on Tuesday, November 2, 1976.
As 38th President of the United States (August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977), Gerald holds the unique honor of being the only person serving in the top two positions without election by the Electoral College.
After taking his televised oath of office in the White House's East Room, Gerald acknowledged his position as an unelected president:
"I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your president with your prayers."
Gerald succumbed to age-related illnesses of arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease and diffuse arteriosclerosis on the day after Christmas, Tuesday, December 26, 2006, which was also the 34th anniversary of the death of a presidential predecessor, Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972), 33rd U.S. President (April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953).
To date, with a life spanning 93 years and 165 days, Gerald holds the record as the longest-lived president.
- Surviving her husband by four years six+ months, Gerald's wife, Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Bloomer Ford (born April 8, 1918) passed away on Friday, July 8, 2011, at the age of 93 years 3 months.
- To date, Gerald and Betty Ford hold the record as the longest-lived presidential couple.