Ford, Gene 1927–2005

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Ford, Gene 1927–2005

(Gene Alan Ford)

PERSONAL: Born December 19, 1927, in Cedar Rapids, IA; died of complications following heart surgery, June 10, 2005, in Seattle, WA; son of Patrick and Mabel Ford; married Patricia Gorman, October 20, 1951; children: Matthew, Lisa Marie. Education: Attended Coe College, University of Iowa, and Catholic University of America; Columbia University, earned graduate degree. Politics: Democrat.

CAREER: During early career, worked in public relations and fundraising; Seattle University, Seattle, WA, worked in development office, c. late 1950s-early 1960s; Washington State and Montana regional sales manager for Christian Brothers Wine, beginning mid-1960s; Moderation Reader (magazine), publisher until 2005. Unsuccessful Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, representing Iowa, c. 1950s; committee chair for Democratic precinct. Lecturer on topic of responsible and healthy drinking. Military service: U.S. Navy, served for several years, beginning 1945.

MEMBER: Citizens for Moderation (founder and president).

AWARDS, HONORS: Wine Writer of the Year, Wine Appreciation Guild, 2001; Best Wine Literature of 2003, for The Science of Healthy Drinking.

WRITINGS:

Ford's Illustrated Guide to Wines, Brews & Spirits, W.C. Brown (Dubuque, IA), 1983.

Ford's ABC's of Wines, Brews & Spirits, Murray Publishing (Seattle, WA), 1984.

The Science of Healthy Drinking, Wine Appreciation Guild (South San Francisco, CA), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS: A regional sales manager for Christian Brothers Wine and founder and publisher of the magazine Moderation Reader, Gene Ford was a self-taught authority on wines, beers, and liqueurs. Also an author of several books about alcoholic beverages, Ford advocated enjoying alcohol responsibly and often taught classes on the subject. He also believed that drinking in moderation has certain health benefits, a claim he said was supported by scientific studies. His book The Science of Healthy Drinking explains these benefits, such as a decreased risk for heart disease and stroke. Ford makes "a strong case for the health benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol," wrote a contributor to Modern Brewery Age, "citing numerous medical studies to bolster the argument." Furthermore, the author complained in the book that anti-alcohol zealots in private organizations and government take an overly radical, prohibitionist stance that does more harm than good on the issue of drinking. Ford died in June of 2005.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Modern Brewery Age, July 19, 1993, "The French Paradox of Drinking and Health," p. 3.

Wine Spectator, November 30, 2003, Harvey Steiman, review of The Science of Healthy Drinking, p. 117.

ONLINE

Aim Digest Online, http://www.aim-digest.com/ (June 8, 2005), Peter Duff, "'To Your Health': The Science of Healthy Drinking by Gene Ford."

OBITUARIES

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2005, p. B10.

Modern Brewery Age, June 27, 2005, p. 5.

ONLINE

Wine Lovers Page, http://www.wineloverspage.com/ (June 17, 2005).

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