Flags across the United States are being flown at half-staff as a symbol of mourning for former U.S. President Gerald Ford.
Mr. Ford died Tuesday evening at his home in Rancho Mirage, California in the western United States, where he lived with his wife, former First Lady Betty Ford. He was 93.
Mr. Ford was the only American to serve as president and vice president without being elected to either office. He had battled pneumonia and undergone two heart procedures this year.
President Richard Nixon appointed Mr. Ford vice president in 1973, after Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned following allegations of financial corruption.
Then in August 1974, Mr. Ford became the 38th U.S. president when Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate political scandal.
A month later, President Ford fully pardoned Mr. Nixon for any crimes he may have committed during his presidency.
Mr. Ford served only two-and-a-half years in the White House, but he is credited with helping the United States heal following the Vietnam war and a period of political upheaval.
Funeral arrangements are still being finalized. But officials say Mr. Ford's body will arrive in Washington Saturday for public viewing. A state funeral service is expected Tuesday.
Gerald R. Ford was born Leslie Lynch King, Junior on July 14th, 1913 in the central western state of Nebraska. His mother renamed him after his stepfather. Mr. Ford's parents had divorced and his mother remarried when he was only a few years old.
Before entering politics, Mr. Ford was a star football player at the University of Michigan in the 1930s, and turned down offers from professional teams. After serving as a naval officer in World War Two, he attended law school at Yale University in the eastern state of Connecticut.
Mr. Ford spent 25 years in Congress representing (the northern state of) Michigan. He served as House Minority Leader before he was appointed vice president in 1973. While in Congress, he served as a member of the Warren Commission that investigated the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Mr. Ford had a reputation as a fiscal conservative, but held moderate views on social and foreign policy issues.
During his presidency, Mr. Ford worked to maintain the country's power and image abroad following the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam and Cambodia. He also brokered an interim truce between Israel and Egypt, and signed nuclear limitation agreements with the Soviet Union.
In a 17-day period in 1975, Mr. Ford survived two assassination attempts - both by female assailants.
He won the Republican Party presidential nomination in 1976, but lost the election in a close race to Democrat Jimmy Carter.
Former President Bill Clinton in 1999 awarded Mr. Ford the country's highest civilian award - the Presidential Medal of Freedom - for his efforts to heal the nation following the Watergate political scandal.