Following the death of Betty Ford Friday, celebrities and politicians alike issued statements and tweeted tributes in memory of the former first lady.
The wife of president Gerald Ford and founder of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse—where celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Drew Barrymore have sought treatment—passed away at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., surrounded by family. She was 93.
Her cause of death has not yet been released.
Celebrities and politicians had these words to say about Ford:
Maria Shriver: "Mrs. Ford was a courageous pioneer, a groundbreaking First Lady, and a forceful advocate for anyone suffering from addiction or breast cancer. America fought her struggles with her and learned alongside her. She was brave, outspoken and kind. As a journalist, I had the opportunity to interview her several times and she was just fascinating. She was a wonderful woman who stood up for any human being struggling in the shadows of their personal pain. One of my highlights as First Lady of California was to honor her with a Minerva Award in 2005. My heart goes out to her entire family. Her daughter Susan is a dear friend of mine and continues to carry on Mrs. Ford's work in such a powerful way."
Steven Tyler "Betty Ford took a risk at one of the worst times of her life and came forward to share a message of recovery in order to serve others. Her vision, passion and amazing heart led to the Betty Ford Center, the gold standard of treatment facilities. She will be missed, but her work in recovery will live on."
Stevie Nicks "As far as I'm concerned, Betty Ford saved my life."
Gary Busey "To the Ford family-- Celebrate her life on the new plateau she is on-- The Busey-ism for DEATH is: Don't Expect A Tragedy Here. Betty's still living in a new dimension so celebrate her life now as you celebrated her life on earth!"
Gena Rowlands: "I was honored to play Betty Ford. I have the utmost admiration for her guts and humanity at a time when people didn't even say the word breast cancer. She inspired every woman in America, and a lot of people are sober because of her. She is a national treasure."
President Barack Obama: "Throughout her long and active life, Elizabeth Anne Ford distinguished herself through her courage and compassion. As our nation's first lady, she was a powerful advocate for women's health and women's rights. After leaving the White House, Mrs. Ford helped reduce the social stigma surrounding addiction and inspired thousands to seek much-needed treatment. While her death is a cause for sadness, we know that organizations such as the Betty Ford Center will honor her legacy by giving countless Americans a new lease on life. Today, we take comfort in the knowledge that Betty and her husband, former President Gerald Ford, are together once more. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to their children, Michael, John, Steven and Susan."
Former President George W. Bush: "Laura and I are deeply saddened by the passing of Betty Ford. We admired her as a first lady and valued her as a friend. She made countless contributions to our country, and we especially appreciate her courage in calling attention to breast cancer and substance abuse. Because of her leadership, many lives were saved. Tonight our prayers go out to Mrs. Ford's entire family."
Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of First Lady Betty Ford. As a staunch advocate for women's and equal rights, Betty paved the way for generations of women to follow. Her courage, compassion, and commitment to helping our nation deal with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction helped thousands of people to a successful recovery and in the process she helped to save countless families. We were honored to host President and Mrs. Ford at the White House in 1998 when they received the Congressional Gold Medal for their dedication and service to our nation. Betty was a remarkable woman whose legacy will live on in people around the country whose lives are longer and better because of her work. Our thoughts and prayers are with her children and grandchildren. We are grateful for her contributions and for her kindness to us. We will miss her."
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan: "I was deeply saddened this afternoon when I heard of Betty Ford's death. She has been an inspiration to so many through her efforts to educate women about breast cancer and her wonderful work at the Betty Ford Center. She was Jerry Ford's strength through some very difficult days in our country's history, and I admired her courage in facing and sharing her personal struggles with all of us. My love and deepest sympathy go out to the entire Ford family at this very sad time."