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#1
Old 01-02-2007, 11:17 AM
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Was Gerald Ford related to the car-maker family in any way?

In the past week I've seen the clip of Gerald Ford saying "I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln" about half a dozen times. (And I've winced in embarassment every time. What a trite, even degrading, remark, especially when delivered in such a serious tone. Fire that speechwriter.)

Anyway, it got me thinking, Hey, GF's from Michigan. The Ford Motor Company's in Michigan. In all the profiles I've seen about GF when he was alive or dead, I've never heard of a connection between the two Ford families, but it seems like a heck of a coincidence. Is there any connection between them? And did a real (or a perceived, but false) connection help or hurt his early career in any way?
#2
Old 01-02-2007, 11:29 AM
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Doubtful, his name wasn't even Ford.
#3
Old 01-02-2007, 11:30 AM
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He was born in Nebraska. He went to live with his mother's family in Michigan less than 3 weeks after he was born.

Not too likely.
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#4
Old 01-02-2007, 11:31 AM
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According to the census list, Ford is the 102nd most common name, 0.082% of the total population, right between "Myers" and "Hamilton". I doubt there's any traceable relation. Besides, if they dug, they might find out he was related to Robert Ford.
#5
Old 01-02-2007, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuyguy
In the past week I've seen the clip of Gerald Ford saying "I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln" about half a dozen times. (And I've winced in embarassment every time. What a trite, even degrading, remark, especially when delivered in such a serious tone. Fire that speechwriter.)
Trite, yes, but it was intentionally self-deprecating.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Common Tater
Doubtful, his name wasn't even Ford.
There's your answer. His name at birth was Leslie Lynch King Jr. When his mother remarried, she changed his name to that of his stepfather.
#6
Old 01-02-2007, 11:34 AM
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I really don't know why you think that Leslie Lynch King, Jr. would have been related to Henry Ford.

On the other hand, his mother later married Gerald Rudolff Ford, who never actually adopted little Leslie. Leslie ended up taking the name of his mother's second husband, and became known as Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr., who later became president of the US.

So, I think your real question is whether Gerald Rudolff Ford, Sr. was related to Henry Ford.
#7
Old 01-02-2007, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Common Tater
Doubtful, his name wasn't even Ford.
Duh. I should have remembered that. Well, King is the 30th most common name. I doubt that anybody's going to suggest a relation to Martin Luther King, anyway.
#8
Old 01-02-2007, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeve
So, I think your real question is whether Gerald Rudolff Ford, Sr. was related to Henry Ford.
In light of the facts that you and the other Dopers have posted, I'll accept this as a replacement of my original question. Thanks.

BTW, if the "I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln" line was intentionally self-deprecating as Marley23 posted, then it was horribly delivered by GF. He said it with a cold, no-nonsense, almost scolding inflection. He should have asked Ronald Reagan to give him some speech lessons! Ronny would have told him to deliver the line with a smile.
#9
Old 01-02-2007, 11:54 AM
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I'm taking that to mean, "I'm a regular guy--not one of these country-club Republicans like the man I'm about to nominate as my VP."
#10
Old 01-02-2007, 02:07 PM
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Genealogy nut here. I can't help you with the Ford question, but I can't resist throwing in this interesting tidbit:

Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon were ninth cousins thrice removed (and tenth cousin twice removed, thanks to a bit of inbreeding in Nixon's line).
#11
Old 01-02-2007, 02:34 PM
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I beleive the 'Ford, not a Lincoln' was meant as a jibe at Nixon, who once compared himself to Lincoln in his 1968 speech at the Republican convention:

"...One hundred and eight years ago, the newly elected President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, left Springfield, Illinois, never to return again. He spoke to his friends gathered at the railroad station. Listen to his words:

"Today I leave you. I go to assume a greater task than devolved on General Washington. The great God which helped him must help me. Without that great assistance, I will surely fail. With it, I cannot fail."

Abraham Lincoln lost his life but he did not fail.

The next President of the United States will face challenges which in some ways will be greater than those of Washington or Lincoln. Because for the first time in our nation's history, an American President will face not only the problem of restoring peace abroad but of restoring peace at home..."

Ford wanted the nation to know that his would not be a mere continuation of the Nixon administration.

And no, he couldn't deliver a line. Remember the SNL Weekend Update segment he appeared on? Just after Chevy's introduction ("I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not.") a tape of Pres. Ford was run where he laboriously intoned "I'm Gerald Ford, and you're not."
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