USPS unveils Betty Ford Forever stamp

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has revealed the artwork of a commemorative Forever stamp celebrating the life and legacy of former First Lady Betty Ford.

The stamp design was unveiled on March 6 at the White House by First Lady Jill Biden, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford and former First Lady Betty Ford. The dedication ceremony for the Forever stamp will be held on April 5 — three days before the 106th anniversary of her birth. The event will occur at the Annenberg Health Sciences Building located at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Elizabeth Anne Bloomer Ford (1918–2011), wife of the 38th president, was first lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. After the Watergate scandal forced the resignation of President Richard Nixon on Aug. 9, 1974, and an earlier scandal pushed out Vice President Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford became the first U.S. president who had never been elected president or vice president and in her new role as first lady, Betty Ford, impressed the American public in interviews by showing humour and frankness about controversial issues facing the country.

“Mom would be humbled and grateful beyond words for the extraordinary tribute of her commemorative stamp,” said daughter Susan Ford Bales, who attended the White House event. “To Mom, the stamp would be a heartwarming reminder of joys of millions of breast cancer and substance use disorder survivors who have overcome their diseases and individually added to her legacy of candor and courage.”

While the Fords never intended to inhabit the White House, Betty Ford embraced the role, becoming the most politically outspoken first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt and helping mould the position’s modern role. Throughout her husband’s political career, Ford openly fought for women’s rights, often conflicting with the Republican Party’s stances. She campaigned tirelessly for the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have mandated constitutional equality for all Americans, regardless of gender.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Mrs. Ford underwent a mastectomy on Sept. 28, 1974. While medical issues of previous first ladies weren’t always disclosed, Mrs. Ford chose to share the story of her treatment for the once-taboo medical condition.

In 1964, Ford began taking prescription pain pills for a pinched nerve in her neck, developing a substance use disorder over time. In 1978, after an intervention, she entered the Naval Regional Medical Hospital in Long Beach, CA, for treatment. As with her breast cancer, she publicly acknowledged her substance use disorder, changing its perception and putting a face to the disease.

In 1982, Ford, former ambassador, and close family friend Leonard Firestone established the Betty Ford Center for substance dependency. She agreed to lend her name to the center, hoping to destigmatize substance use disorder treatment at a time when it wasn’t spoken about openly — especially by women — and options for treatment were scarce. Her work helped change the way treatment options and those seeking it are viewed by American society.

The Forever stamp honoring Betty Ford is being issued in panes of 20.


Leave a Reply

Canadian Stamp News


Canadian Stamp News is Canada's premier source of information about stamp collecting and related fields.

Although we cover the entire world of philatelics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Stamp News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $59.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier stamp publication. Canadian Stamp News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now