LOS ANGELES, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Gerald Ford has died at the age of 93, his wife said in a statement from the Ford home in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
A congressman from Michigan who had served as minority leader, Ford was selected as vice president after the resignation of a scandal-plagued Spiro Agnew at the height of the Watergate scandal, which also drove President Richard Nixon to resign in 1974.
Ford served as the 38th president of the United States until defeated by Jimmy Carter, who took office in early 1977.
In the statement issued late Tuesday, Betty Ford notified the nation of his death.
"My family joins me in informing you that Gerald R. Ford -- our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather -- has passed away at 93 years of age," her statement said. "His was a life full of love for God, family, and country."
There was no mention of the cause of death, but the elderly former president had been ill for some time.
The statement said funeral details will be provided by the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capitol Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington Public Affairs Office.
The family requested that contributions be made to the Gerald R. Ford Foundation Memorial Fund in lieu of flowers.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum in Ann Arbor, Mich., is offering extended hours for those who wish to express their sympathy to the Ford family.