Historic Addition

Unveiling the statue of Gerald Ford
House Office of Photography

FPO Image
House Office of Photography

FPO Image
House Office of Photography

FPO Image
House Office of Photography

FPO Image
House Office of Photography

FPO Image
House Office of Photography

FPO Image
House Office of Photography

FPO Image
House Office of Photography

Gerald Ford Statue Unveiled in Capitol

Gerald Ford, the longest-serving House member ever to become president, has symbolically returned to Congress.

On May 3, a statue of Ford, who died in 2006, joined the historic figures displayed in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate leaders, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, numerous dignitaries and Ford family, friends, and colleagues attended the ceremony.

Calling Ford “the most uncommon of common men,” Boehner said, “It is an honor to place him in this hallowed rotunda.” Pelosi lauded Ford’s lifetime of national service, saying “Today, we proudly welcome him back to the Capitol.”

Before serving as president from 1974 to 1977 and vice president from 1973 to 1974, Ford represented Michigan as a Republican House member from 1949 to 1973 and Minority Leader of the House from 1965 to 1973.

Some speakers at the unveiling ceremony reflected on how Ford, who assumed the presidency when President Richard Nixon resigned, had restored confidence to a nation shaken by scandal, war and a raft of other problems. Ford’s daughter Susan Ford Bales and son Steven recalled their father in more personal terms. They remembered a kind-hearted father who let them play hide and seek in the Capitol rotunda as Ford, then a House member, worked on weekends.

When the statue, by sculptor J. Brett Grill, was finally unveiled, the audience of several hundred rose for a sustained standing ovation.

The Ford statue joins a collection of 100, two per state. Each statue represents a historic figure in their respective state – from Alabama’s Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, a House member and ambassador to Spain, to Wyoming’s Washakie, a Native American leader. Of the 100 statues, 38 are arranged in National Statuary Hall, another 20 are located in the central hall of the Capitol’s first floor east front extension, and the rest are distributed throughout the Capitol and the Capitol Visitor Center.

For more information about National Statuary Hall, visit the Architect of the Capitol’s website and the Clerk’s website.