Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A "King" that became President

On July 14, 1913, a King was born. His given name was Leslie Lynch. Named after his father L.L. King, Junior was his pride and joy. While Europe was at war, battles apparently raged in the King's realm as well. In fact, before America joined the war, little Leslie had a new father. The young "King" was soon being called Gerald, after his mother's new husband Mr. Gerald R. Ford.

Though his family called him "Gerald R. Ford, Jr." from 1916 on, it was "Leslie King" that played on the championship University of Michigan football teams in 1932 and 1933. His name was not officially changed until he was at Yale earning his law degree (in 1935). One wonders what happened to Mr. Leslie Lynch King, "Sr." Did he ever meet with his son after a divorce that was apparently so complete that his son did not even retain his name in the house? Mr. King died in 1941, just as the man then officially known as Gerald R. Ford, Jr., was beginning his carreer as lawyer in Grand Rapids, MI.

It was one district, around Flint, MI, elected Gerald Ford with comfortalble margins for over two decades. In that time, of course, Mr. Ford rose to prominence to be the House minority leader. He was an obvious choice when President Nixon wanted a honest man at his side. With Nixon's resignation, this choice made Mr. Ford a president of a land that had never voted for him!

Pres. Ford served well for two and a half years, and almost beat Jimmy Carter in 1976! He was probably one of the most respected presidents of the twentieth century! He has just surpassed Ronald Reagan (his primary opponent in 1976) as the longest living president. Our prayers are with his family as they mourn with America the passing of this historic man from Michigan.

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