former president gerald ford dies at 93

President Ford slips and falls as he leaves Air Force One upon arrival in Vienna, Austria for a state visit.

from houston chronicle: Gerald R. Ford, who picked up the pieces of Richard Nixon‘s scandal-shattered White House as the 38th president and the only one never elected to nationwide office, has died. He was 93…

Ford was an accidental president, Nixon’s hand-picked successor, a man of much political experience who had never run on a national ticket. He was as open and straightforward as Nixon was tightly controlled and conspiratorial.

Minutes after Nixon resigned in disgrace over the Watergate scandal and flew into exile, Ford took office and famously declared: “Our long national nightmare is over.”

But he revived the debate over Watergate a month later by granting Nixon a pardon for all crimes he committed as president. That single act, it was widely believed, cost Ford election to a term of his own in 1976, but it won praise in later years as a courageous act that allowed the nation to move on…

former president gerald ford dies at 93Ford also earned a place in the history books as the first unelected vice president, chosen by Nixon to replace Spiro Agnew, who also was forced from office by scandal…

Even after two women tried separately to kill him, the presidency of Jerry Ford remained open and plain…

[Ford] joined former presidents Carter, Bush and Clinton at a memorial service in Washington three days after the Sept. 11 attacks. In June 2004, the four men and their wives joined again at a funeral service in Washington for former President Reagan…

He was undaunted even after the two attempts on his life in September 1975. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a 26-year-old follower of Charles Manson, was arrested after she aimed a semiautomatic pistol at Ford on Sept. 5 in Sacramento, Calif. A Secret Service agent grabbed her and Ford was unhurt.

Seventeen days later, Sara Jane Moore, a 45-year-old political activist, was arrested in San Francisco after she fired a gun at the president. Again, Ford was unhurt.

Both women are serving life terms in federal prison…

Ford was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin.