updated 11/12/2006 5:08:21 PM ET 2006-11-12T22:08:21

Gerald Ford, who turned 93 in July, became the longest-living U.S. president Sunday, edging past Ronald Reagan, who died two years ago.

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Ford, who was born July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska, has been alive for 93 years and 121 days, one day more than Reagan, who died in June 2004.

Ford, a former Michigan congressman and vice president, became U.S. president Aug. 9, 1974, after Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal.

The only president who was never elected, Ford remained in office until Jimmy Carter replaced him in January 1977 after losing the November 1976 election.

Ford and former first lady Betty Ford, 88, live in Rancho Mirage in the desert of Southern California.

“The length of one’s days matters less than the love of one’s family and friends,” Ford said in a statement in the local Desert Sun newspaper.

Ford has battled a series of illnesses this year. He has been hospitalized four times for tests, angioplasty surgery, and treatments for shortness of breath and pneumonia.  REUTERS

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