|Betty Ford official portrait October 2, 1974|
Less than two months into her husband's presidency, Mrs. Ford discovered she had breast cancer. Her openness and honesty about the disease played a key role in helping women learn about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
The stresses of her daily life and the lack of medical oversight common for the times led to Mrs. Ford's combined addiction to alcohol and pain killers as early as 1965. Her family intervened in 1978 and she voluntarily entered the drug and alcohol rehabilitation center at the Long Beach Naval Hospital. After successfully going through treatment, Mrs. Ford joined with Leonard Firestone in founding a rehabilitation center specifically to meet the needs of women in Rancho Mirage, CA. She remained actively involved there, serving as Chairman of the Board of the Betty Ford Center until 2005.
|State dinner in honor of Egyptian President and Mrs. Anwar Sadat. October 27, 1975.|
|Official portrait, December 24, 1975. Gown by Frankie Welch.|
|The Fords with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, July 7, 1976.|
|Mrs. Ford dances with Prince Philip at the State Dinner, July 7, 1976.|