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Gerald R. Ford, ’35, HLLD’74

Gerald R. Ford
University of Michigan News and Information Services Photographs, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Ford attended U-M on a football scholarship, playing center on the undefeated 1932 and 1933 teams. Turning down offers from the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers to study law at Yale, the 38th president launched his political career as the representative of Michigan’s Fifth Congressional District. He remained undefeated in Congress, too, winning reelection 12 times until Nixon tapped him to become U.S. vice president. During his presidency, from 1974 to 1977, Ford reached an arms control agreement with Leonid Brezhnev and signed the Helsinki Accords, which aimed to reduce tensions with the Soviet Union.

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