Gerald Ford eclipses Ronald Reagan as longest-living president

Sunday, November 12th 2006, 7:33 pm
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) Gerald R. Ford has surpassed Ronald Reagan to become the longest-living U.S. president.

Ford, who turned 93 on July 14, 2006, became the oldest president Sunday by living to 93 years and 121 days. The milestone is based on full days.

``The length of one's days matters less than the love of one's family and friends,'' Ford said in a statement this week from the Rancho Mirage compound he shares with former first lady Betty Ford.

``I thank God for the gift of every sunrise and, even more, for all the years he has blessed me with Betty and the children, with our extended family and the friends of a lifetime,'' he added.

The nation's 38th chief executive was president from August 9, 1974, when Richard Nixon resigned, until January 1977. Before that, he was House minority leader.

Ford has suffered a variety of health problems in recent years.

Reagan, born February 6, 1911, was 93 years, 120 days when he died June 5, 2004. He had surpassed the longevity milestone of John Adams, the nation's second president, in 2001.