Icons: Betty Ford

Welcome to Visual Therapy – Icons, a new section on our blog dedicated to women of style and substance: women who have inspired, led by example and truly made a difference.

Betty Ford in 1942

The wife of President Gerald Ford, Betty Ford was courageous, unpretentious, and full of style. Her legacy will carry on and her message will continue to inspire and save many lives.

President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty Ford


A ballerina and a model in New York in her 20s, Betty naturally knew how to affect people, and she used that gift to reshape society’s beliefs on its own problems.


Betty Ford touched the lives of others  by making her own her own personal struggles public. She believed that we’re all put on this Earth to help others.


  • Addiction: Ford reshaped the American consciousness on the very delicate subject of alcohol and drug addiction and co-founded of the eponymous addiction center in Palm Springs.
  • Breast Cancer: Having gone through breast cancer herself, Betty Ford raised major awareness to breast cancer.
  • Equal Rights: Co-chair of the Equal Rights Amendment Countdown Campaign.


WWD reports that Betty’s favorite designers were Halston, Bill Blass, Albert Capraro, Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Geoffrey Beene, Pierre Cardin, Kasper and Jim Baldwin. Ford once told WWD, “I always try to wear something outstanding and as becoming a dress as I can find. I don’t believe in the dumb dress.”

Beautiful Betty Ford

Photo Credit: Eddie Adams/AP Photo.