Michigan News
4:39 am
Mon March 10, 2014

William Clay Ford Sr. Passes Away at 88

William Clay Ford Senior, who helped steer Ford Motor Company for more than five decades and owned the NFL's Detroit Lions, has died at the age of 88.  The company said in a statement Sunday that Ford died of pneumonia at his home. He was the last surviving grandson of company founder Henry Ford.  

William Clay Ford Sr. passes away at 88.
Credit waled ahmed
Ford served as an employee and board member of the automaker for more than half of its 100-year history. The company says in a statement that he was instrumental in setting the design direction for the company's vehicles. CEO Alan Mulally says in a statement that Ford had a profound impact on the company.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says William Clay Ford was one of his struggling city's biggest boosters.   Duggan says in a statement that William Clay Ford's dedication to Detroit "was never more evident than ... with his decision to move the Detroit Lions back downtown."  The NFL team now plays at Ford Field.

Redevelopment is well underway in Detroit's downtown, even as city neighborhoods continue to lose residents and housing stock. The mayor says that "vote of confidence in Detroit was an important piece of the redevelopment of downtown that has since taken place."