30 Years Ago In Time

Betty Ford's cancer diagnosis in 1974 prompted a TIME cover story on POLITICAL WIVES, which featured Pat Nixon and Joan Kennedy, along with the brand-new First Lady.

Some women, to be sure, would be unhappy no matter what their husbands' occupations and would turn in their despair to drink, to drugs, to affairs. But probably no other career makes such relentless demands on wives and families as politics. Witness Pat Nixon in virtual exile at San Clemente. "We are worried about Pat," an associate of the Nixons confides. "She has not been in touch with any of her close friends. It's...