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January 01 2007

Operation HOPE Statement on the Passing of Former President Gerald R. Ford

LOS ANGELES, CA—January 03, 2007—"The entire HOPE family, and me and my family, extend our hearts to the family of former President Gerald R. Ford in his passing after living a long and substantive life,” said  Operation HOPE, Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant.

“I have always said that one cannot call himself a leader unless he is (first) prepared to serve. President Ford did more than serve his nation; he effectively gave up his own political career so that a nation, our nation, could move on (following Watergate). President Ford never got the credit he deserved at that time, but history will be kind to him and his legacy. Equally important, during the time he played football for University of Michigan in the 40\'s, Mr. Ford would not agree to play as long as his fellow black players were not allowed on the field. He only played when the black players pushed him to get on with the game. This quiet decision of moral leadership was just as significant as his later public ones,” Mr. Bryant continued.  

The Operation HOPE family salutes Gerald Ford as a man of principle, courage, leadership and future vision. America is better because of him. May his spirit rest in peace."