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A political leader of the twentieth century who served as president from 1974 to 1977. A prominent Republican in Congress, Ford was named vice president in 1973, after the resignation of Spiro Agnew. He succeeded to the presidency in 1974, when President Richard Nixon was forced to resign. Ford sought to pursue moderate policies and to communicate better with Congress and with the public than Nixon had. He refused approval, however, of a large number of bills passed by Congress, which was controlled by Democrats, saying they were too costly. He pardoned Nixon in a widely criticized effort to end division over the Watergate scandal. Ford lost the presidency to James Earl Carter in the 1976 election.