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Gerald Ford Honorary Director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame Dies at 93
President Ford and ISHOF were – Partners In Health

Just as he took the plunge into politics at an early age, so too did President Gerald Ford take the plunge into the swimming pool and, just as in his many years in politics, he also made swimming a life-long exercise for health benefits. He lived to be 93 years of age.

President Ford was an Honorary Director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Board of Directors and was a special guest at ISHOF in February, 1977, the year after he left the Presidency. Said 1977 ISHOF Executive Director, Buck Dawson, to President Ford, “You are honored here for your splendid example of swimming for health, exercise and pleasure in the historic tradition  of other ‘Wet – Heads of State’ who were accomplished swimmers: John F. Kennedy, John Quincy Adams, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Pierre Trudeau, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Mao Tse Tung, Charlemagne, King Gustav VII, King Louis XI and Prince Albert.”

As vice president, Ford swam daily in his Arlington, Virginia, home pool, and when he rose to the Presidency he was a regular swimmer in the newly-constructed pool on the White House grounds. (The original indoor pool built by FDR, had been removed in the late 1960’s.) The Swimming Hall of Fame contributed the first $1,000 to the fund generated by private donations to rebuild the White House pool in 1975. Widely-admired for his interest in physical fitness and sports, President Ford carried his swimming regimen into his life as Citizen Ford.

Gerald Ford – The Swimming President
Former Fort Lauderdale Mayor Virginia Young, ISHOF Executive Director Buck Dawson with  Swimming-Coach Wife RoseMary, and President Ford discuss the President’s University of Michigan Swimming Instructor, Hall of Famer Matt Mann, during a 1977 visit to ISHOF.

Greg LouganisEraldo

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