Former US first lady Betty Ford dies

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Former US first lady Betty Ford dies

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Betty Ford, the wife of the late US President Gerald Ford and the founder of a renowned drug and alcohol clinic, has died. She was 93.

Not only a women’s rights activist who was once dubbed the “fighting first lady”, Ford spent much of her life helping to reduce the stigma surrounding alcohol addiction.

She was also an early breast cancer campaigner, raising awareness of the disease and undergoing a masectomy just weeks after her husband was elected President in 1974.

Later, she became known to an entirely new generation when the Betty Ford Center opened in California in 1982.

She gave her name to the non-profit clinic after being treated in a US military rehabilitation center for addiction to alcohol and painkillers.