(DETROIT) — Detroit Lions owner and Ford Motor Co. executive William Clay Ford Sr. passed away from pneumonia at his home at the age of 88, the company said in a statement Sunday.
Ford was the last surviving grandchild of the company’s founder, Henry Ford. He served with the automobile company for 57 years, as an employee and board member.
“My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community,” said Ford Motor Company executive chairman William Clay Ford, Jr. “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.”
Ford became president of the Lions in 1961 and purchased controlling interest in November 1963.
“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,” Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement. “ Each of us in the organization will continue to relentlessly pursue that goal in his honor.”
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Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire