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Friday Feature: President Ford Not Riding a Tiger

A young child balances on top of an adult-size bike, held up by 3 other children.

Young Leslie Lynch King, Jr. sits on a bicycle, flanked by a cousin and two unidentified girls. c. 1915, Photo courtesy Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., was born "Leslie Lynch King, Jr." (named after his father, Leslie Lynch King). His mother, Dorothy Ayer Gardner, divorced his father—a wife-beating alcoholic—shortly after his birth, and remarried in 1916. Dorothy called her future-President son "Junie," which soon became "Jerry" out of affection for the boy's new father-figure, Gerald R. Ford, Sr.

Leslie King, Jr., did not learn of his biological father until he was a teenager, and after graduating from college he officially changed his name to Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr.

Read more in the American President essay about President Gerald R. Ford, Jr.

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