July 9th, 2011

gerald ford

RIP Betty Ford

When we stayed in Washington in 2005, the table where we ate breakfast at our hotel was beside a tremendously vigorous picture of Betty Ford dancing on a table in the White House. I kid you not.

Anyway, it's a sad reason to revisit my various stats.

Longevity of women married to American Presidents and Vice-Presidents (top twelve, including the two oldest still living, above the cut):

Bess Truman: born 13 Feb 1885, died 18 Oct 1982, aged 97 years and 248 days.
Ann Gerry: born 12 Aug 1753, died 17 Mar 1849, aged 95 years and 217 days.
Lady Bird Johnson: born 22 Dec 1912, died 11 Jul 2007, aged 94 years and 201 days.
Jane Wyman: born 4 Jan 1914, died 10 Sep 2007, aged 93 years and 250 days (divorced Ronald Reagan before he became President).
Betty Ford: born 8 Apr 1918, died 8 Jul 2011, aged 93 years and 91 days.
Ilo Wallace: born 10 Mar 1888, died 22 Feb 1981, aged 92 years and 348 days.
Jennie Hobart: born 30 Jan 1849, died 8 Jan 1941, aged 91 years and 343 days.
Tod Rockefeller: born 17 Jun 1907, died 21 Apr 1999, aged 91 years and 308 days (divorced Nelson before he became Vice-President).
Caro Dawes: born 6 Jan 1866, died 3 Oct 1957, aged 91 years and 271 days.
Eliza Bowen Jumel: born 7 Apr 1775, died 16 Jul 1865, aged 90 years and 100 days (married and divorced Aaron Burr after he had been Vice-President).
Judy Agnew: born 23 Apr 1921, still living, aged 90 years and 77 days.
Nancy Reagan: born 6 Jul 1921, still living, aged 90 years and 3 days.
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Betty Ford ranks ninth (or eighth if you are literal) of those who survived their husband's terms as President:

Mary Harrison 54.8 years (possibly doesn't count, as not married to husband while he was President)
Frances Cleveland 50.7 years
Julia Tyler 44.4 years
Sarah Polk 42.4 years
Edith Wilson 40.8 years
Edith Roosevelt 39.6 years
Lady Bird Johnson 38.5 years
Lucretia Garfield 36.5 years
Betty Ford 34.5 years
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But surprisingly she is two places lower, eleventh, of those who survived their husband's term as Vice-President, though could again be counted as eighth if you are literal:

Eliza Bowen Jumel 60.4 years (possibly doesn't count, as not married to husband while he was Vice-President)
Ellen Hamlin 59.9 years
Julia Tyler 48.3 years (possibly doesn't count, as not married to husband while he was Vice-President)
Edith Roosevelt 47.0 years
Mary Breckinridge 46.6 years
Lady Bird Johnson 43.6 years
Jennie Hobart 41.1 years
Ellen Colfax 38.0 years
(Judy Agnew - still living - 37.7 years)
Bess Truman 37.7 years
Betty Ford 36.9 years
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Edited to add: Living individuals now added to second and third lists.