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Ford | Gerald R.

Letter from President Gerald R. Ford to the CEO of Standard Oil of Indiana



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Letter from former President Gerald R. Ford to John Swearingen, CEO of Standard Oil of Indiana, and his wife, Bonnie.

Letter is written in Ford’s hand, on post-presidential stationery. Accompanied by a photograph of President Ford with Bonnie Swearingen, with note in Betty Ford’s handwriting on verso. Additional photograph of President Ford exchanging a dollar bill with John Swearingen. Letter contains references to the Christmas season and thanking them for the “Sara Lee Chocolate Cake.” The two couples lived within miles of each other in the greater Palm Springs area of California.

From the estate of John E. Swearingen, the president of Standard Oil of Indiana and one of the most influential oil executives of the 20th century. When he became CEO in 1960, he deemed Indiana Standard Oil to be a “second-rate company.” Through aggressive research and oil exploration, Indiana Standard quickly became one of the most profitable companies in the United States. Swearingen was vocal about his dislike for federal regulators, often supporting Republicans who shared his views on limited government. In retirement, he was a close friend of presidents Gerald R. Ford and Richard Nixon. Swearingen died in 2007, survived by his wife, Bonnie Swearingen, who passed away in 2020.

Additional information

Location Published

Rancho Mirage, CA


Gerald R. Ford Presidential Office



Date Published







Ford | Gerald R.