Thursday, December 02, 2004

Who was a King before he was a President?

Question: Let me ask you a riddle. Who is the only American who was a King before he was a President?
From: A Rotarian in Grand Rapids, MI
Date: December 2, 2004

Answer: That's a riddle that originates in Grand Rapids, Michigan, since the answer has to do with one of its own.

The story starts with a man named Leslie Lynch King, a wool merchant in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1912 he married Dorothy Gardner. It was an unhappy marriage, and Dorothy was physically abused. Despite the miserable relationship, the couple had a son on July 14, 1913, whom they named Leslie Lynch King Jr.

Fed up with her abusive husband, Dorothy escaped from Omaha with her infant son and found refuge in her parents' home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She got a divorce in 1915 and met a kind man who owned a paint store in town. His name was Gerald Rudolf Ford Sr. -- and now you know the rest of the story: Dorothy and Gerald got married in 1916. He adopted her only child and renamed the lad Gerald R. Ford Jr. Fifty-eight years later he would earn the distinction of being the only American who was a King before he was a President.

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