An Evening With Susan Ford Bales and Richard Norton Smith

Friends of the LBJ Library | Apr, 20 2023 6:30PM - 7:30PM

An Evening With Susan Ford Bales and Richard Norton Smith



Join us on April 20th for an Evening With Susan Ford Bales and Richard Norton Smith, who will talk about the inspiring life and legacy of Susan’s father, Gerald Ford, in conjunction with Richard’s definitive new biography - over ten years in the making - An Ordinary Man: The Surprising Life and Historic Presidency of Gerald R. Ford (Harper Collins, April 11, 2023). 

This program will be held in-person in the 10th floor Atrium of the LBJ Presidential Library.

About the speakers:

Susan Ford Bales is the daughter of President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford. Susan was raised in Alexandria, Virginia and attended Holton Arms School and the University of Kansas, where she studied photojournalism. She is the author of two novels set in the White House, Double Exposure: A First Daughter Mystery, and its sequel, Sharp Focus.

During her high school years, Susan lived in the White House and served as official White House hostess following her mother’s surgery for breast cancer in 1974. In 1984, she and her mother helped launch National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Susan subsequently served as national spokesperson for breast cancer awareness. Since the founding of the Betty Ford Center in 1982, Susan worked side by side with her mother on projects at the Center and was elected to the Center’s Board of Directors in 1992. She succeeded her mother as Chairman of the Board from 2005 – 2010, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

Susan has served as a Trustee of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation since 1981 and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Foundation’s programs committee. Susan’s work with the Foundation centers on promoting the ideals of integrity, courage, and candor that were the hallmarks of her father and his distinguished service as a naval officer in World War II, member of Congress, and as vice president and president.

Director of five presidential libraries, a familiar face to viewers of C-SPAN and the PBS News Hour, Richard Norton Smith is the author of, among other works, Thomas E. Dewey and His Times, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation; and On His Own Terms; A Life of Nelson Rockefeller. His new biography of Ford draws on hundreds of interviews and thousands of documents to present a thorough and surprising look at our 38th president.


Book sales and signing

The Store at LBJ will be selling copies of An Ordinary Man: The Surprising Life and Historic Presidency of Gerald R. Ford by Richard Norton Smith on the 10th floor from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and again immediately following the program. Norton Smith will sign copies before the program, from 5:30-6:15pm.

By purchasing through The Store at LBJ, you support a local cultural institution. All proceeds from sales support our programming, exhibits, and educational initiatives at the LBJ Presidential Library.

Location and Parking

Free parking will be available in the LBJ Library visitors' lot (#38), and lots #37 and #39 after 5:30 p.m. The Library is located at 2313 Red River Street.

Please note that Red River Street is closed between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Clyde Littlefield Drive. Red River Street is open and accessible from E. Dean Keeton Street; please plan your route accordingly.

The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. to allow plenty of time for guests to enter..



Please register using the form below. You must be a current member of the Friends at the Individual level or above to register. Museum and Family Museum members do not receive admission to the programming series as part of their membership benefits.


Get in Touch

For questions or more information, please contact Donor and Membership Manager Natalia Morgan.

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Office: (512) 721-0198