The cause of Ford's death is not known. Ford had pneumonia in January 2006 and underwent two heart treatments in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
He took office minutes after Nixon flew off into exile and declared "our long national nightmare is over." He granted Nixon a pardon for all crimes he committed as president. It cost Ford election to a term of his own in 1976, but it won praise in later years as a courageous act that allowed the nation to move on.
Ford has a place in history books as the first unelected vice president.