Former first lady Betty Ford, founder of the famous drug rehabilitation clinic and wife of President Gerald Ford, passed away Friday at 93.
She was remembered as one of the most outspoken first ladies, and never held back on the American public, having undergone a mastectomy to fight breast cancer and fighting the disease became one of her life long projects.
She struggled with painkiller addiction and alcoholism.
She once said that if she were young she would have tried marijuana, and said it was wise for young people to live together before marrying.
She was an outspoken person on abortion rights, she once said “”Having babies is a blessing, not a duty”.
Her family released a statement Friday:
“Mother’s love, candor, devotion, and laughter enriched our lives and the lives of the millions she touched throughout this great nation,” her family said in a statement released late Friday. “To be in her presence was to know the warmth of a truly great lady.”
She co-founded the nonprofit Betty Ford Center near the Fords’ home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., in 1982 after revealing her addiction to pain killers and alcohol; the center treats 90,000 people a year and has seen the likes of Johnny Cash and Lindsey Logan pass through its doors.
She leaves behind her 3 sons and daughter.