Knowing the Presidents: Gerald R. Ford

Gerald R. Ford

Thirty-Eighth President, 1974-1977


Appointed Vice President by Richard M. Nixon after Spiro Agnew resigned due to scandal, Gerald R. Ford then became president upon Nixon’s resignation in 1974.


Gerald R. Ford’s Whip Inflation Now (WIN) campaign sought to address the nation’s economic peril, but was unsuccessful in providing economic stability. The economy was at its worst since the late 1940s due to an energy crisis brought on by the consortium of oil-exporting nations called OPEC, which, in protest against U.S. support of Israel, embargoed shipments of oil to the United States.

Ford had to refocus the people’s attention in the aftermath of Watergate; he bungled this when he pardoned Nixon only months after assuming the presidency.

Ford could not convince Congress to unite behind him and was unsuccessful in turning around public opinion, which was now characterized by suspicion of political leaders.

Major Acts:

In April 1975, President Ford issued an emergency evacuation for the remaining U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.


Ford achieved mixed results in handling a declining economy and a faltering geopolitical status.