William Clay Ford, Sr. Speaker Profile
Owner of the Detroit Lions
William Clay Ford, Sr. Biography
[[William Clay Ford, Sr.]] was born March 14, 1925 and is the youngest child of Edsel Bryant Ford, and last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford. He is the current owner, and chairman of the Detroit Lions, which plays in the National Football League.
Born on March 14, 1925, in Kansas City, Missouri, to parents Edsel Bryant Ford and Eleanor Lowthian Clay. Ford served in the U.S. Navy Air Corps during World War II. Following the War, Ford married Martha Parke Firestone, the granddaughter of Harvey Firestone and Idabelle Smith Firestone on June 21, 1947. They have four children together, Martha Parke Morse (b. 1948), Sheila Firestone Hamp (b. 1951), William Clay Ford, Jr. (b. 1957), and Elizabeth Hudson Ford (b. 1961). Ford received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Yale University in 1949, and was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity. After graduating, Ford worked for the Ford Motor Company, and was briefly head of the Continental Division. Continental was short lived, and merged with the Lincoln Motor Company shortly before Ford's public stock offering. Ford updated the Continental that his father had created, and in 1955 the Continental Mark II was released. It is said there were only two pictures on his office wall, his father's Continental, and his updated Mark II. On April 10, 1952, bulk freighter SS William Clay Ford was named in honor of him. On November 22, 1963, Ford purchased a controlling interest in the Detroit Lions of the National Football League from the previous owners, Edwin Anderson and Lyle Fife for $4.5 million. Ford for a time, was chairman of the most important of the directors' committees, the Finance Committee. Ford sat on the Ford Board of Directors for 57 years, retiring on May 12, 2005. His son, William Clay Ford, Jr. was serving as Ford Motor Company's CEO at the time. According to the Forbes Magazine, Ford was the 373rd richest man in America, with a net worth of over $1.25 billion in 2013. Ford reportedly owns 6.7 million shares of Class B stock, and 26.3 million common shares, in other words, Ford is the largest single shareholder in the Ford Motor Company
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