William Clay Ford Sr grandson of pioneer automaker dies at 88 …

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DETROIT — Former Ford Co (NYS:F) executive William Ford Sr. the last surviving of the automaker’s founder, Henry and the longtime owner of the Detroit football team, died on at age 88, the company said.

Ford, who many of his 57 years at Ford on automobile design, died of at his home in the Detroit suburb Pointe Shores.

Ford was the of William Clay Ford Jr. the current executive chairman. He was emeritus of the company at the time of his

He joined the automaker’s sales and staff after graduating Yale in 1949 and was named a vice president in 1953.

Ford’s notable executive included vice president of design, head of the former Division and member of the Office of the Executive. His board positions vice chairman, chairman of the Committee and chairman of the Finance

He was a Ford director from until his retirement in 2005 more than half the 110-year history. Forbes estimated his fortune at $1.35

My father was a great business and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the and the community, William Jr. said in a released by Ford.

Nick Scheele, a former Motor president and former executive of Jaguar Cars, William Sr. was one of the key supporters of Ford’s purchase of Jaguar, the British carmaker, and appreciated fine design.

You could see it in his Continental II, Scheele said. He had a great eye for


Ford and his Henry II were sons of Ford, whose father the storied automaker.

Henry II his younger brother in his career at the Known as HF2, and Hank the he was Ford’s chairman and chief officer before his death in

William Clay inherited love of design and it showed in his of the Continental Mark II, a beautiful but Ford luxury car in the mid-1950s.

Chapin, president of the Detroit-based Hall of Fame and longtime of the Ford family, said would be remembered for the Mark II, was inspired in part by his father personal 1939 Lincoln

Considered a postwar classic of design, the Continental Mark II was not a success, but it helped build image and reputation, Chapin

Ford bought the Lions in for a reported $4.5 million and was the chairman until his death.

In recent years, the club has managed by his son Bill Jr. The Lions won a National Football League under his ownership; its last NFL came in 1957.

Forbes year valued the Lions at $900 million.

On the team’s on Sunday, Lions President Tom said: No owner loved his more than Mr. Ford the Lions.

Ford shunned the but in recent years talked his grandfather giving him his first lesson at age 10 — they going 70 miles per hour kph) with young in Henry’s lap when a policeman them.

Ford took his airplane ride with aviator Charles Lindbergh at the of a Ford Tri-Motor and enlisted in the Air Corps during World War He was taking flight training at the of his discharge in 1945.

He would have marked his birthday on Friday.

His survivors his wife of 66 years, Martha Ford, granddaughter of Harvey Harvey Firestone was the founder of the tire company and a good of the first Henry Ford.

In to his wife and William Jr. Ford is by his daughters Martha Ford Sheila Ford Hamp and Ford Kontulis; 14 grandchildren; and two

At the 2003 shareholder meeting, the automaker’s centennial, Ford We have tremendous pride in the name. We have a passion for And we also have a great to see the Ford name in the forefront of transportation.

(Additional reporting by Bill editing by Frances Kerry)

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