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Betty Ford: First Lady, Women’s Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer

by Lisa McCubbin

About the Book

McCubbin’s biography of Betty Ford reveals a truly extraordinary woman. It’s the story of a very different era, when many social norms that we take for granted today did not exist. Betty was right there pushing the envelope. She fostered open discussion on topics once discussed in hushed voices behind closed doors. It’s the story of the early events that shaped a creative soul. It’s a love story that lasted over 58 years. During those years, Betty raised a large family, maneuvered through the political scene in DC, and battled breast cancer, alcoholism, and prescription drug addiction.

Built on extensive research and in-depth family interviews, this warts and all portrait reveals a woman all the more loved for them. Betty worked hard all her life, from the days when she taught dance lessons in Grand Rapids to life as wife and political hostess in Washington, D.C. and beyond. She didn’t shy away from unpopular causes, but used her political platform to make an unprecedented effect on the way Americans thought about themselves and their neighbors. This book invites the reader into the love, humor, faith and spirit that was and is Betty Ford.

About the Author

Lisa McCubbin is an award-winning journalist, a freelance writer, and the writer/coauthor of four New York Times bestsellers including Five Presidents, Mrs. Kennedy and Me, Five Days in November, and The Kennedy Detail. She received an Emmy nomination for the 2010 Discover Channel documentary, The Kennedy Detail, which was based on the book.

Related Events

Adult Beginner Ballet

Monday, June 17, 2019, 7:00 pm
Monday, July 15, 2019, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Grand Rapids Ballet School’s adult ballet classes are an excellent way to keep both your mind and body fit, flexible and happy. Taught by former professional dancer Attila Mosolygo, you will learn basic ballet technique, stretching, and conditioning. It’s a lot of fun too! All levels of experience and ability are welcome.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum Tours

Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 11:00 am
Thursday, August 15, 2019, 11:00 am
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum – 303 Pearl NW
Parking is free in the lot on the west side of the museum.

Curator Don Hollaway will led a tour of the museum and discuss the life of First Lady Betty Ford using museum exhibits and artifacts. The first 25 GRPL cardholders will get in free when they present their GRPL library card. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Betty Bloomer Ford Display

June – August 2019 during library hours
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

See Betty Ford photographs and memorabilia from the library’s collection. Items from the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections department will be on view depicting Betty’s life in Grand Rapids and beyond.