Gerald Ford, dead at 93. Former president Gerald R. Ford, who told an uneasy nation that "our long national nightmare is over" after assuming the presidency from Richard Nixon in 1974, was the only politician who served as vice president and president but was never elected to either office. He will be missed as a source of both laughs and a bit of an inspiration for integrity. (Even if he did let Tricky Dick off the hook.) And on a totally crass note, Ford is number two in the celebrity trifecta, who will be the third?