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What US state is the birthplace to the most presidents? If you guessed Virginia, you’re right! Ohio comes in second place with seven. New York is third with five, and Massachusetts is in fourth with four.

Beyond those four states, no other US state is birthplace to more than two presidents, and 39 states have yet to be the birthplace of a president.

However, just because a president wasn’t born in a state doesn’t mean he isn’t from there. For example, Illinois is often referred to as the ‘Land of Lincoln’, but Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. Often times, a president made his residence in a state other than his birthplace.

Michigan is one of the 39 states in which a president was never born, but it counts Gerald Ford as a native son. While Ford was born in Omaha, Nebraska, he lived nearly the entirety of his life in Michigan, and will always be strongly associated with the state.

What US Presidents Are From Michigan

Ford’s Early Life in Michigan

Gerald Ford was born in Nebraska in 1913, but his parents split up only 2 weeks after his birth. Ford moved with his mother to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she soon remarried to a Grand Rapid businessman named Gerald R. Ford.

The young Gerald had his named changed to Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. in honor of the man whom he’d consider as his father for the rest of his life.

Ford grew up to be a star athlete and went to the University of Michigan for college.

Ford’s Career at the University of Michigan

Ford’s athletic achievements continued at the University of Michigan, where he became a standout player on the football team. Ford played multiple positions, as was common at the time, and was a part of two Michigan national championships in 1932 and 1933.

Ford then went on to be voted Michigan’s most valuable player of the 1934 season, his last year at the University. His number has been retired by the University of Michigan.

You can make an argument that Gerald Ford is the greatest athlete to ever become a US President.

Ford’s Rise to Prominence

Ford went to Yale for law school, then joined the Navy after the Pearl Harbor attack. After serving his country during the war, Ford returned to Michigan, where he practiced law and became involved with local Republican politics.

In 1949, Ford challenged the Republican incumbent for a seat in the House of Representatives representing Michigan and won. He would hold that seat for more than 20 years, until 1973, serving his constituents and eventually rising to the position of House Minority Speaker.

What US Presidents Are From Michigan

In 1973, Vice-President Spiro Agnew was forced to resign in disgrace after a scandal, and President Richard Nixon chose Ford as the new Vice President. Ford then found himself elevated to the presidency after Richard Nixon resigned in the wake of the fallout from the Watergate scandal.

Ford would serve as president from 1974 to 1977, losing re-election to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 election.

Ford holds the distinction of being the only US President not to be elected as either president or vice president.

Ford’s Michigan Legacy

As a star athlete for Michigan’s most prominent university and a loyal public servant of the state in Congress for nearly 25 years, Gerald Ford was a man the people of Michigan embraced as their own. For people looking to show their Michigan pride, a wide range of trendy Michigan-themed apparel can be found here.