Public Sculpture in Grand Rapids

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Betty Ford

Artist: J. Brett Grill
Medium: Bronze
Provenance: Donated by the family of Peter Secchia. Unveiled July 14, 2018. This is one of a series of 25 bronze sculptures donated to the city by the Community Legends Project funded and endowed by Peter Secchia.
Location: In front of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

A plaque near the statue reads:

Betty Ford

Born: April 8, 1918
Died: July 8, 2011


Betty Ford was the First Lady of the United States
From 1974 to 1977.


Elizabeth Anne “Betty” Bloomer was born in Chicago and raised
in Grand Rapids. She became an accomplished dancer and was
fashion coordinator for Herpolsheimer’s Department Store. On
October 15, 1948 she married Gerald R. Ford. Together they
had four children: Michael, Jack, Steven, and Susan.

Gerald Ford served as a Michigan congressman for twenty five
years. Then, on August 9, 1974, he became President of the
United States, and Betty became the nation’s First Lady. As
First Lady, she openly discussed her personal battle with breast
cancer and raised the nation’s consciousness on women’s rights.
She later became a strong advocate for treatments for cancer
and chemical dependencies.

After the Fords left the White House in 1977, Betty remained
a selfless leader on a number of issues and continued her
dedication to public service and humanitarian efforts.

“Being ladylike does not require silence.”
Betty Ford

© 2023 Public Sculpture in Grand Rapids. Catalog database by Index Projects