Michelle Obama, Maria Shriver and George W. Bush were among the dignitaries who paid tribute to Former First Lady Betty Ford at her funeral in Palm Desert today.
The wife of the late President Gerald Ford and founder of the famed drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic bearing her name died on Friday at age 93.
Betty Ford was the First Lady of the United States from August 1974 to January 1977. Her willingness to speak candidly about her personal battles with cancer and addiction helped to shatter longstanding taboos in the United States. The Betty Ford Center has helped thousands battle drug and alcohol addiction.
Married for 58 years, Betty and Gerald Ford enjoyed mutual respect and an unshakeable bond. A fun-loving woman and outspoken feminist, Ford insisted upon moving into the White House that she and her husband share the same bed - unlike previous occupants.
Betty Ford credited her husband with inspiring her famously outspoken ways. My husband promised he would be forthright and honest, she said. And I felt I was following that lead.
Rosalynn Carter spoke fondly of Betty Ford during a tribute at today's memorial service. She was never afraid to speak the truth, including about her own struggle with alcohol and pain killers, she said. Her honesty gave help to others every day.
It was a privilege to know her.