Nickname: Jerry

Years in office: 1974–1977

Political party: Republican

Birthday: July 14, 1913

Official presidential portrait of Gerald Ford

by Everett Raymond Kinstler, 1977

Fordzie, Chelsea Marketing Group, c1976 (Library of Congrerss)

Gerald Ford may not have won the presidential election of 1976, but this campaign poster was sure a winner. In it, Ford is posing as Fonzie, a character from the popular Happy Days television show.

In 1976, Americans were weary of political figures and the government in general. Between the unpopular Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, voters were primed for a Washington outsider to take control.

The Democrats found their outsider in peanut farmer turned governor, Jimmy Carter. The Republicans stuck with their incumbent, Gerald Ford. Ford had never been elected. He was appointed vice president and then took over the presidency when Nixon resigned. Ford’s pardon of Nixon, paired with some unfortunate gaffes, made for a tough campaign. It was a close election, but in the end, Jimmy Carter won, becoming our 39th president.


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Davis, Kenneth C., and Pedro Martin. Don’t Know Much about the Presidents. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

DeGregorio, William A., and Aaron Jaffe. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, Inc., 2017.

Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2009.


Encyclopedia Britannica, britannica.com

Library of Congress, loc.gov

Miller Center, University of Virginia, millercenter.org/the-presidency

The White House, whitehouse.gov

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