Rare has been the president whose life blended the individual drive that propels one to high office with the social responsibility of being an exemplary person. Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006) was one of those rare men.
In this biography Hendrik Booraem traces the early life of Gerald Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to his high school graduation in 1931, showing how he developed the outlook and ideals that he brought to the White House. Ford's childhood offers telling glimpses of family and school, sports and recreation, and Western Michigan life in the Jazz Age and the Depression. Amply illustrated with photos from the 1920s and '30s, Young Jerry Ford
shows the 38th President of the United States in a new and colorful light.
Read an excerpt from the book
and a blog post by Booraem
"A wonderful early life portrait of my dad growing up in West Michigan during the 1920s. All of the colorful stories and more that Dad told around our dinner table are here. No doubt Grand Rapids put its stamp on the future president that helped shape him to have the character to lead and heal our nation during a unique time in its history. This book is a great read."
— author of Coolidge
"A tale to inspire all would-be presidents, put together with consummate skill and meticulous research. No biographer builds a better picture of young presidents than Hendrik Booraem."
Robert H. Ferrell
— University of Indiana
"This is a delightful book on the youthful years of Gerald R. Ford, as straightforward as the later president of the United States himself."
"A vivid, colorful and insightful biography of the 38th president of the United States. . . . Tracing the early life of Gerald Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to his high school graduation in 1931, Booraem reveals how Ford's ideals and values were shaped by the strict upbringing of his mother and stepfather, his Episcopalian faith, involvement in the Boy Scouts and achievements as a star high school athlete. . . . Readers are left with a well-rounded, human portrait. . . . The many photographs and other archival illustrations help to round out the depiction of person, place and period. A revealing portrait of the formative years of a future president of the United States."