William Clay Ford Sr., the owner of the Detroit Lions, has died at the age of 88.
Ford Motor Co. said in a statement Sunday that Ford died of pneumonia at his home. He was the last surviving grandson of automotive pioneer Henry Ford and owned the Lions since 1964.
William Clay Ford Sr.’s legacy as owner of the Detroit Lions is one of passion and of a winning desire unfulfilled, Michael Rothstein writes.
“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Mr. Ford and extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Ford and to the entire Ford family,” Lions team president Tom Lewand said in a statement. “No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions.
“Those of us who had the opportunity to work for Mr. Ford knew of his unyielding passion for his family, the Lions and the city of Detroit. His leadership, integrity, kindness, humility and good humor were matched only by his desire to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Lions and to our community.”
Ford originally paid $4.5 million in November 1963 for the Lions franchise, which is now valued at approximately $900 million, according to Forbes. He officially assumed ownership of the team in January 1964.