Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. -- the 38th president of the United States and the 40th vice president -- is, at least to date, the only individual ever to have held that office without direct election. Ford became vice president under the provisions of the 25th Amendment in 1973 when Spiro Agnew resigned, and ascended to the office of president following the resignation of Richard Milhous Nixon the next year. Ford's presidency spanned 1974 to 1977, when he ran for reelection as an incumbent candidate, roundly defeated by Jimmy Carter.
Cinematically, Ford only appeared in one fictional narrative -- an uncredited bit part as a politician in New World's inferior 1978 horror picture The Bees, directed by Alfredo Zacharias. More enduringly, Ford participated in several illuminating small-screen documentaries in which he reflects on the nature and role of the chief of state. These include Constitution: That Delicate Balance -- Executive Privilege and Delegation of Powers (1984), Constitution: That Delicate Balance -- War Powers and Covert Action (1984), The Presidency: A Personal Perspective (1996), and Powers of the President: Bureaucracy, Court, and Media (1996). The Modern Presidency (1989) is one of the only documentaries to feature Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan discussing the complexities of running the U.S. government. The majority of these programs were designed as educational videos for use in secondary schools and collegiate institutions.
Gerald R. Ford died on December 26, 2006, at 93 years old -- making him the longest-lived president in the history of the United States. He passed away in his home of Rancho Mirage, CA, and was survived by his wife, Betty, and his four grown children, Michael, John, Steven, and Susan.