It was with a heavy heart that we lowered our flags to half-mast this week, honoring the passing of William Clay Ford, Director Emeritus of Ford Motor Company.
Mr. Ford was an employee of the company for fifty-seven years, starting work soon after graduating from Yale in 1949. He was Chairman of the Design committee for thirty-two years. Later he would serve as chairman of the Finance Committee, and he was a member of the Board of Directors for his entire career.
His work extended beyond business. For more than thirty years, he was chairman of the board of trustees of the Henry Ford Museum, after which he served as chairman emeritus. He also owned and was chairman of the Detroit Lions until his death. Mr. Ford was a dedicated humanitarian and philanthropist, with ties to the Detroit Economic Club, the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America, the Eisenhower Medical Center, and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan.
Mr. Ford was the last surviving grandchild of founder Henry Ford. He is survived by his wife Martha, four children, fourteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Clearly such a giant of a man can never be replaced, but he leaves behind an indelible legacy. His enduring spirit will continue to guide the company.
We at Leith Ford are honored to call ourselves a part of the Ford family, and though we may mourn Mr. Ford’s passing, we will remain true to the example he set and the cars he loved.
To read the official statement from Ford Motor Company and to see pictures from the life of William Clay Ford, you can visit the Ford News Center.