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Martha Firestone Ford
Owner and Chairman

Biography

Martha Firestone Ford continues to provide great stewardship for the Detroit Lions as owner and chairman, succeeding her husband, William Clay Ford, who passed away on March 9, 2014 after serving as the sole owner of the franchise for 50 years (1964-2013).

Mrs. Ford, now in her second year as owner and chairman, has been affiliated with the Lions since her husband purchased the club in 1963. Mr. Ford’s ownership grew into a deeply-rooted family tradition that now includes multiple generations of the Ford Family. Mrs. Ford proudly honors that tradition with firm leadership and stability.

Martha Firestone Ford continues to provide great stewardship for the Detroit Lions as owner and chairman, succeeding her husband, William Clay Ford, who passed away on March 9, 2014 after serving as the sole owner of the franchise for 50 years (1964-2013).

Mrs. Ford, now in her second year as owner and chairman, has been affiliated with the Lions since her husband purchased the club in 1963. Mr. Ford’s ownership grew into a deeply-rooted family tradition that now includes multiple generations of the Ford Family. Mrs. Ford proudly honors that tradition with firm leadership and stability.

As the Ford Family, the Lions organization and Ford Motor Company honored Mr. Ford’s lifelong contributions to the franchise, community and auto industry throughout the year, the team on the field continued to make progress towards Mrs. Ford’s top priority, winning a Super Bowl. In 2014, the Lions finished 11-5 in Head Coach Jim Caldwell’s first season, the franchise’s best record since 1991, and earned a spot in the playoffs for the second time in four seasons. 

Born in Akron, Ohio, Mrs. Ford is the granddaughter of one of America’s great automotive industrial icons, Harvey Firestone. She graduated from Vassar College in 1946 with a bachelor’s degree. After getting married in 1947, Mr. and Mrs. Ford located to the Detroit area and became active members of the metro Detroit community.

In addition to being the owner and chairman of the Detroit Lions, Mrs. Ford currently serves as an officer on the board for Detroit Lions Charities and on the board of The Henry Ford Health System. She has held leadership positions with many organizations, including The Merrill Palmer Institute, The University Liggett School, and The Children’s Home of Detroit. She was also the founder and longtime board member of The Maple Grove Institute.

Joining Mrs. Ford on the board of the Detroit Lions are her three daughters, Martha Ford Morse, Sheila Ford Hamp, Elizabeth Ford Kontulis, and her son, William Clay Ford, Jr. She also has 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

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