Henry Ford’s last surviving grandchild, William Clay Ford, passes away

Henry Ford’s last surviving grandchild, William Clay Ford, passes away

Bigwig automaker Ford Motor Co. released an official statement on Sunday to announce the death of William Clay Ford - a longtime employee and director of the company. Ford, 88, was the last surviving grandchild of auto-industry pioneer Henry Ford.

William Clay Ford had an eventful 57-year stint at Ford Motor. During his term, the company witnessed the glory years of the Detroit auto industry after World War II, as well as its decline during the 1970s and 1980s. William Ford's span at the company also saw the turbulent cycle of booms and busts during the last 30 years.

William Ford was chairman of the Ford Motor's design committee - a post he held for over three decades, beginning in 1957. He also managed Ford's Continental luxury-car division in the 1950s.

Although William Ford was a top auto executive, he was also widely known to football fans as the owner of the Detroit Lions. His investment in the Lions started in around 1963, almost in coincidence with his ownership of the National Football League team.

William Ford was the team's chairman at the time of his death. About Ford's love for the Lions, Tom Lewand - the President of the Lions - said: "No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions."

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