DEARBORN, MI – Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr., on behalf of the people of Dearborn, expresses his condolences to the family of William Clay Ford, Sr. and regrets the loss of the longtime auto executive, owner of the Detroit Lions, and philanthropist, who positively impacted the region and the City of Dearborn for decades.
Dearborn is tied to Ford Motor Co. and to the Ford family in unique ways, and Mr. Ford was an integral part of that legacy, Mayor O’Reilly said.
For 57 years, Mr. Ford had a prominent role in the Dearborn auto company that bore his family name, and is credited with helping steer the company through tough times and into a modern era, especially with its auto designs.
For 50 years, he owned the Detroit Lions, whose practice facility, despite an Allen Park address, is largely located in the City of Dearborn.
For 32 years, he was chairman of the board of trustees of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, and was named chairman emeritus in 1983. Later, he was honored when the great hall in the museum was named the William Clay Ford Hall of American Innovation.
“We appreciate his unique contribution in preserving history while at the same time embracing innovation,” said Mayor O’Reilly.
There are other reasons to be appreciative of Mr. Ford’s contributions, the mayor said.
“We remain grateful to Mr. Ford for his strong sense of corporate citizenship, which has added value to the lives of people throughout Michigan and around the world.
“Mr. Ford was an icon in the auto industry, in the NFL, and in charitable circles, and was an inexorable part of Dearborn’s heritage, but not just because of his last name,” said Mayor O’Reilly. “Dearborn is better off because of his actions and accomplishments over a long life, well-lived. His legacy is an inspiration to us all.”
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