IMAGE: President Ford
Kevin Lamarque  /  Reuters
President Ford experienced breathing difficulties and was admitted to a Vail, Colo., hospital.
updated 7/26/2006 3:05:31 PM ET 2006-07-26T19:05:31

Former President Ford was released from a hospital Wednesday, two days after being admitted for shortness of breath.

Ford, 93, was admitted Monday afternoon and released at noon Wednesday, Vail Valley Medical Center said in a written statement.

Ford’s chief of staff, Penny Circle, said in a statement that Ford planned to return to his home in nearby Beaver Creek. She did not immediately return telephone messages.

It was at least the second time Ford has been hospitalized this year. He was admitted to a Rancho Mirage, Calif., hospital for treatment of pneumonia on Jan. 14 and released after 12 days.

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Ford suffered two small strokes five years ago and spent about a week in a hospital.

He became the nation’s oldest living former president after the death of Ronald Reagan in 2004.

Ford was House minority leader when President Nixon chose him to replace Spiro Agnew as vice president in 1973, when Agnew resigned. Ford became president on Aug. 9, 1974, when Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal.

Ford’s ties to Vail date to 1968, when the family visited the resort while he was a congressman from Michigan. He later bought a condominium in the area. He and his wife, Betty, helped raise money to build the town’s Ford Amphitheater and Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

Ford celebrated his birthday in Vail on July 14. Circle said at the time the couple expected to spend the summer there.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was hospitalized for a few hours in Aspen on July 7 after reporting lightheadedness blamed on the town’s 7,900-foot elevation. Powell, 69, was in town for a panel discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

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