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Reaction To Gerald Ford's Death

Family, friends and colleagues have weighed in on the life and accomplishments of Gerald Ford. A sampling follows:

"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age. His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country." — Betty Ford

"He was a true gentleman who reflected the best in America's character... He stepped into the presidency without ever having sought the office. He assumed power in a period of great division and turmoil. For a nation that needed healing and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we needed him most. During his time in office, the American people came to President Ford as a man of complete integrity who led our country with common sense and kind instincts. Americans will always admire Gerald Ford's unflinching performance of duty and the honorable conduct of his administration, and the great rectitude of the man himself. We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our 38th president will always have a special place in our nation's memory." — President Bush

"One of the most admirable public servants and human beings I have ever known... An outstanding statesman, he wisely chose the path of healing during a deeply divisive time in our nation's history... He frequently rose above politics by emphasizing the need for bipartisanship and seeking common ground on issues critical to our nation. I will always cherish the personal friendship we shared." — Former President Jimmy Carter

Gerald Ford "led an honorable life that brought great credit to the United States of America. Throughout his career, as a naval officer, congressman, vice president and president, Gerald Ford embodied the best values of a great generation: decency, integrity and devotion to duty… (When he left office) he had restored public trust in the presidency, and the nation once again looked to the future with confidence and faith." — Vice President Dick Cheney

"I was deeply saddened this evening when I heard of Jerry Ford's death. Ronnie and I always considered him a dear friend and close political ally. His accomplishments and devotion to our country are vast, and even long after he left the presidency he made it a point to speak out on issues important to us all." — Nancy Reagan

"He had to bring our country back and make it whole again and he did it with dignity, he did it with great, great skill and sensitivity." — Ford's former chief-of-staff Alexander Haig

"President Ford was one of the kindest, most sincere elected officials whom I have known and with whom I have worked. Although he and I were from different political parties, we often were able to find common ground and work together for our country." — Long-time Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia

"America has lost a man whose integrity, strength of character and commitment to this nation distinguished him as one of our most selfless leaders… In a time of national crisis, America turned to Gerald Ford. He accepted the enormous responsibilities of the Presidency during a dark hour in our history, fully knowing the daunting challenge he faced. No man could have been better suited to the task of healing our nation and restoring faith in our government… He made the most difficult of choices based entirely on what he believed to be in the best interest of his country and its people, the mark of history's greatest leaders… We owe Gerald Ford a debt of gratitude for his unfailing devotion to duty, for always putting his country before himself, and for accepting an extraordinarily difficult task with grace and strength." — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

"Gerald Ford and I came from different sides of the aisle, but we forged a wonderful friendship as we served Michigan together in the House of Representatives. When his nation called on him to serve his country ... he rose up and held the country together. It will certainly be his legacy. I will remember him fondly and I will miss him dearly." — Rep. John Dingell, D-Michigan

"President Ford was a great man, a great leader and perhaps Michigan's greatest son. He served his country with distinction for his entire adult life. He will be remembered as a president who kept America together during one if its greatest crises. He and his wife Betty have demonstrated great courage and the highest values throughout their lives. He will be missed." — Co-chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party Jane Abraham

"He became president of the United States during a trying time and immediately began the difficult process of healing a nation torn apart by scandal. He will be remembered for leading with integrity and character. He brought West Michigan values with him to Washington and maintained them throughout his rise from congressman ... to vice president and president." — Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Michigan

"President Ford made Michigan proud as he led our nation through one of the most challenging times in our history. Our prayers go out to his family." — Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan

"We love him and we will miss him, but we are compensated by the knowledge that his spirit and his love for the University of Michigan will endure." — University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr

"The presidency was sort of shrouded in mystery. He brought an openness about himself and his family that was so refreshing and America needed that right then … What Gerald Ford did for this country is to remind us we are a nation of men and women, not a nation of gods. We have a God, but it's not us. That's something he did for us that's absolutely remarkable and I'll always cherish his legacy for that." — Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark.

"I worked in President Ford's Justice Department and was struck by his steady leadership, honesty, and sense of responsibility to his country. He was a true profile in courage." — Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani

"I remember in his inaugural speech he said, 'You have not elected me as your president by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your president with your prayers' ... God certainly answered those prayers. President Ford was the great healer, and brought us together. We owe a great debt to him for how he put principle over politics at a crucial time in the life of our nation." — the Rev. Billy Graham

"He brought back to the White House common sense and an everyman's wisdom, and our country is better for his service." — Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.

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