TIME Detroit

William Clay Ford, Scion of Ford Family, Dies

William Clay Ford
NFL Photos/Getty Images William Clay Ford poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Detroit, Michigan.

William Clay Ford, who worked at his grandfather's American auto company for more than half of its 100 years lifespan and owned the Detroit Lions NFL football team for 50 years died at the age of 88

William Clay Ford, the owner of the Detroit Lions and the last surviving grandchild of auto tycoon Henry Ford died Sunday at age 88 of pneumonia.

Ford worked as an employee and on the board of his grandfather’s auto company for more than half of its 100-year history, reports the Associated Press. He bought the NFL’s Detroit Lions half a century ago.

“My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community,” William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. and Lions vice chairman, said in a statement.

During his tenure as owner of the Lions, Ford presided over only one playoff victory in 1992. The Lions overcame an 11-year postseason drought to make it to the playoffs in 2011.


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