Betty Ford Biographer discusses legacy of first ladies

Last Saturday would have been the 99th birthday of former First Lady Betty Ford.

GRAND RAPIDS - Betty Ford would have been 99 this month. To celebrate, the Ford Presidential Foundation hosted a discussion about the legacy of America's First Ladies.

The event at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on Tuesday, April 11, featured former first daughter Susan Ford Bales and former first granddaughter Mary Jean Eisenhower.

They talked about what their lives were like, growing up in the White House.

Eisenhower was the featured speaker, talking about life in a presidential family and her grandfather's legacy.

Author Lisa McCubbin moderated the discussion. She is currently working on a biography about Betty Ford. She calls her a remarkable first lady, with a legacy of saving thousands of lives, because of her courage to talk about her breast cancer and alcohol and drug addiction.

McCubbin says about the book, "I wanted to tell the story of her entire life: show how this really ordinary girl from Grand Rapids, Michigan, ended up in the White House either by accident or destiny and how she just has affected so many lives going forward."

McCubbin says she hopes to have the book out early in 2018.

She's completed about 70 interviews so far, but wants to hear from people in the Grand Rapids area who have a personal story about Betty Ford.

She can be contacted at her website.

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