RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Gerald Ford is about to become the oldest ex-president in the history of the United States.
Ford, who lives in Rancho Mirage with his wife, Betty, issued a statement Friday anticipating and playing down his achievement.
"The length of one's days matters less than the love of one's family and friends," Ford said. "I thank God for the gift of every sunrise and, even more, for all the years He has blessed me with Betty and the children, with our extended family and the friends of a lifetime. That includes countless Americans who, in recent months, have remembered me in their prayers."
Ford -- then speaker of the House and a longtime congressional representative from Michigan -- was appointed vice president when Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973. He became president when Richard Nixon, facing impeachment over the Watergate affair, stepped down in 1974.