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Former President Gerald Ford Released From Hospital

Former President Gerald R. Ford returned to his Southern California desert home after five days of hospitalization for medical tests, his chief of staff said Monday.

Ford, 93, was admitted Oct. 12 to Eisenhower Medical Center and he returned Monday to his Thunderbird Estates compound about a mile away, spokeswoman Penny Circle said. She did not disclose the nature of the tests.

"President Ford, Mrs. Ford and the Ford family wish to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes," she wrote in a statement.

Ford underwent heart procedures in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He received a cardiac pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat and underwent angioplasty, with stents in two of his coronary arteries to increase blood flow.

In July, Ford was admitted to Colorado's Vail Valley Medical Center for a few days because of shortness of breath. In January, he was hospitalized for 12 days in Rancho Mirage for treatment of pneumonia. Five years ago, Ford suffered two small strokes and spent about a week in a hospital.

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

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