William Clay Ford, Jr. was originally named vice chairman of the Lions in February 1995, but his life with the Lions first began back in 1957, when as an infant, he attended his first Lions game.
He, along with his father, was instrumental in bringing the Lions back “home” to Detroit when the team made the decision in 1996 to move the team from the suburbs and build Ford Field in downtown Detroit. He also played a vital role, along with his family, in Detroit’s bid for Super Bowl XL. The Ford Family, Lions and Ford Motor Company were integral in hosting the nation’s premier sporting event in February 2006 that generated a $260 million economic impact to the local economy. He also has served on numerous NFL committees, including the prestigious Broadcast Committee.
Ford’s role as executive chairman of Ford Motor Company is a professional and personal commitment, leading the company founded by his great-grandfather, American automotive pioneer Henry Ford. A member of the board of directors since 1988, Ford assumed the role of chairman of the board on January 1, 1999. He also served as chief executive officer from October 2001-September 2006.
Ford also serves on the Board of Trustees of The Henry Ford and Henry Ford Health System. He is chairman of Detroit Economic Club and the New Michigan Initiative Committee of Business Leaders for Michigan. Additionally, Ford is a founding partner of Fontinalis Partners, LLC, a Michigan-based investment firm.
The 2015 recipient of the USC Shoah Foundation’s prestigious “Ambassador for Humanity” award for embodying the institute’s values and mission to promote tolerance and mutual respect, Ford was presented this honor by the institute’s founder, Hollywood legend Stephen Spielberg.
Born in Detroit in 1957, Ford holds a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton and a Master of Science in management as an Alfred P. Sloan fellow from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an honorary Doctor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering degree from Koc University, an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Michigan and an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Bradley University. Ford is a member of the Irish America Hall of Fame.
The appointment was made public Thursday, as the Lions prepared to play their second preseason game against the Browns
Bill Ford Jr. discusses the atmosphere surrounding Ford Field this season and how close he feels the franchise is to playing in it's first Super Bowl.
Bill Ford talks about his excitement for the game, QB Matthew Stafford's talent and liking the additions of Brian Xanders and new Lions' coaches.