The last surviving grandson of Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, died recently at the age of 88. William Clay Ford served in several positions inside the company, and was the Director Emeritus. His career with Ford lasted 57 years, and he was influential during his time in helping reshape the automaker to suit modern times and technologies.
His positions within Ford Motor Company included sitting on the Board of Directors, plus serving as chairman of the Design Committee, Executive Committee, and Finance Committee. At one point he was also a member of the Office of the Chief Executive.
Ford saw what many argue was his biggest accomplishment when he was the chairman of the Design Committee. During his 32-year tenure, he helped shape the look of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineups. He was key in the final design of the Lincoln Continental Mark II, a car that many designers still feel is a tremendous influence in vehicle design today.
William Clay Ford is survived by his wife, Martha Firestone Ford; his daughters Martha Ford Morse, Sheila Ford Hamp, and Elizabeth Ford Kontulis; his son William Clay Ford, Jr. ; plus 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community,” said William Clay Ford, Jr., executive chairman for Ford Motor Company. “He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, yet he will continue to inspire us all.”