US First Lady, Secretary of State to Attend Betty Ford’s Funeral

Posted July 11th, 2011 at 3:20 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are expected to attend the funeral of former first lady Betty Ford, who died Friday at the age of 93.

The service for Mrs. Ford is scheduled for Tuesday at a church in Palm Desert, California. Her remains are then to be flown to Michigan for a public viewing and burial alongside her husband, former president Gerald Ford, who died in 2006.

Mrs. Ford was an outspoken advocate for women's health and women's rights.

As first lady from 1974 to 1977, Betty Ford became known for her candor, famously discussing women's rights, premarital sex and abortion in a television interview. She was diagnosed with breast cancer while at the White House, and became a champion for breast cancer research and awareness.

After leaving the White House, Mrs. Ford acknowledged and sought treatment for an addiction to alcohol and painkillers. In 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center in California, still one of the most well-known and well-regarded treatment centers for substance abuse.