Susan Ford Vance Bales in 1974 and 2010

Photos: Getty Images

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Susan Ford Vance Bales
Susan Ford is the youngest of former President Gerald Ford's four children and his only daughter. Susan was 17 when her father became president in 1974 and spent her final adolescent years in the White House—she even had her senior prom in the East Room!

Weeks after her father's inauguration, Susan's mother, Betty Ford, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Susan soon began working with her mother to raise breast cancer awareness, and the two helped launch National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1984—and her health-related activism didn't stop there. When Betty sought treatment for alcoholism and subsequently founded the Betty Ford Center, Susan became a member of the board of directors in 1992 and board chairman in 2005.

In the midst of her activism, Susan also worked as a photojournalist for organizations including the Associated Press and Newsweek and co-authored two mystery novels. After marrying Charles Vance, one of her father's former Secret Service agents, in 1979, Susan had two children. The marriage lasted nine years before the couple divorced, and Susan married Vaden Bales, an attorney. Today, the two live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Published on May 02, 2011

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