Ancestry of Gerald R. Ford

President Gerald Rudolph Ford was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. on 14 July 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents, Leslie Lynch King and Dorothy Ayer Gardner, separated shortly after the birth of their son and were divorced in Omaha, Nebraska on 19 December 1913. In 1917, Dorothy married Gerald R. Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Fords began calling Leslie by the name Gerald Rudolff Ford, Jr., although his name wasn't legally changed until December 3, 1935 (he also changed the spelling of his middle name). Gerald Ford Jr. grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his younger half-brothers, Thomas, Richard and James.

Gerald Ford Jr. was a star lineman for the University of Michigan Wolverines' football team, playing center for national championship teams in 1932 and 1933. After he graduated from Michigan in 1935 with a B.A. degree, he turned down several offers to play professional football, instead opting for an assistant coach's position while studying law at Yale University. Gerald Ford eventually became a member of Congress, Vice President, and the only President not elected to the office. He is also the longest living ex-president in American history, dying at age 93 on 26 December 2006.

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First Generation:

1. Leslie Lynch King Jr. (aka Gerald R. Ford, Jr.) was born on 14 July 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska and died on 26 December 2006 at his home in Rancho Mirage, California. Gerald Ford, Jr. married Elizabeth "Betty" Anne Bloomer Warren on 15 October 1948 at Grace Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. They had several children: Michael Gerald Ford, born 14 March 1950; John "Jack" Gardner Ford, born 16 March 1952; Steven Meigs Ford, born 19 May 1956; and Susan Elizabeth Ford, born 6 July 1957.

Second Generation (Parents):

2. Leslie Lynch KING (Gerald Ford Jr.'s father) was born on 25 July 1884 in Chadron, Dawes County, Nebraska. He married twice - first to President Ford's mother, and later in 1919 to Margaret Atwood in Reno, Nevada. Leslie L. King, Sr. died on 18 February 1941 in Tucson, Arizona and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California.

3. Dorothy Ayer GARDNER was born on 27 February 1892 in Harvard, McHenry County, Illinois. After her divorce from Leslie King, she married Gerald R. Ford (b. 9 December 1889), son of George R. Ford and Zana F. Pixley, on 1 February 1917 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dorothy Gardner Ford died 17 September 1967 in Grand Rapids, and is buried with her second husband in Woodlawn Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Leslie Lynch KING and Dorothy Ayer GARDNER were married on 7 September 1912 at Christ Church, Harvard, McHenry County, Illinois and had the following children:

  • 1 i. Leslie Lynch KING, Jr.
    Third Generation (Grandparents):
    4. Charles Henry KING was born on 12 March 1853 in Perry Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. He died on 27 February 1930 in Los Angeles, California and is buried with his wife in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California.
    5. Martha Alice Porter was born 17 November 1854 in Indiana and died on 14 July 1930 in Glendale, Los Angeles Co., California. She is buried with her husband in Forest Lawn Cemetery of that county.
    Charles Henry KING and Martha Alicia PORTER were married after 2 June 1882 in Cook County, Illinois and had the following children:
    • i. Gertrude M. KING was born abt. 1881 in Illinois (married Robert H. Knittle)
      ii. Charles B. KING was born abt. September 1882 in Chadron, Dawes Co., Nebraska
      2. iii. Leslie Lynch KING
      iv. Savilla KING was born abt. September 1885 in Chadron, Dawes Co., Nebraska (married Edward Pettis)
      v. Marietta H. KING was born abt. July 1895 in Chadron, Dawes Co., Nebraska (married Giles Vernon Kellogg)

    6. Levi Addison GARDNER was born on 24 April 1861 at Solon Mills, McHenry County, Illinois. He died on 9 May 1916 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
    7. Adele Augusta Ayer was born on 2 July 1867 in Youngstown, Mahoning County, Ohio and died on 10 August 1938 in Los Angeles, California.
    Levi Addison GARDNER and Adele Augusta AYER were married on 23 October 1884 in Harvard, McHenry County, Illinois and had the following children:
    • 3. i. Dorothy Ayer GARDNER
      ii Tannisse Ayer GARDNER was born 4 March 1887 in Harvard, Illinois. She married Clarence Haskins James on 5 September 1908 in Harvard, Illinois and died on 14 April 1942.
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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Ancestry of Gerald R. Ford." ThoughtCo, Oct. 29, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, October 29). Ancestry of Gerald R. Ford. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "Ancestry of Gerald R. Ford." ThoughtCo. (accessed February 8, 2023).