Henry Ford II (September 4, 1917 – September 29, 1987), sometimes known as "HF2" or "Hank the Deuce", was the eldest son of Edsel Ford and eldest grandson of Henry Ford. He was president of the Ford Motor Company from 1945 to 1960, chief executive officer (CEO) from 1945 to 1979, and chairman of the board of directors from 1960 to 1980. Notably, under the leadership of Henry Ford II, Ford Motor Company became a publicly traded corporation in 1956. From 1943 to 1950, he also served as president of the Ford Foundation.
Henry Ford II
Ford in 1963
|Born||September 4, 1917|
|Died||September 29, 1987 (aged 70)|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Education||Hotchkiss School (1936)|
|Title||President of Ford Motor Company (1945-1960) CEO of Ford Motor Company (1945-1979) Chairman of Ford Motor Company (1960-1981)|
(m. 1940; div. 1964)
Maria Cristina Vettore
(m. 1965; div. 1980)
Kathleen DuRoss (m. 1980)
|Children||3 (including Edsel Ford II)|
|Parent(s)||Edsel Ford |
Eleanor Clay Ford
|Relatives||Henry Ford (grandfather)|
William Clay Ford Sr. (brother)
Edsel Ford II (son)
Bill Ford (nephew)
Josephine Ford (sister)
Henry Ford II was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Eleanor Clay Ford and Edsel Ford on September 4, 1917. He, brothers Benson and William, and sister Josephine, grew up amid affluence. He graduated from The Hotchkiss School in 1936. He attended Yale University, where he served on the business staff of The Yale Record, the campus humor magazine, but left in 1940 before graduation.
When his father Edsel, president of Ford, died of cancer in May 1943 (during World War II), Henry Ford II was serving in the Navy and unable to take over the presidency of the family-owned business. The elderly and ailing Henry Ford, company founder, re-assumed the presidency. By this point in his life, the elder Ford was mentally inconsistent, suspicious, and no longer fit for the job; most of the directors did not want to see him as president. But for the previous 20 years, although he had long been without any official executive title, he had always had de facto control over the company; the board and the management had never seriously defied him, and this moment was not different. The directors elected him, and he served until the end of the war. During this period the company began to decline, losing over $10 million a month. The administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt considered a government takeover of the company in order to ensure continued war production, but the idea never progressed to execution.
Henry Ford II left the Navy in July 1943 and joined the company's management a few weeks later. After two years, he assumed presidency of the business on September 21, 1945. Since it had been assumed that Edsel Ford would continue in his capacity as president of the company for much longer than turned out to be the case, Henry Ford II had received little grooming for the position, and he took over the company during a chaotic period; its European factories had suffered a great deal of damage during the war, and domestic sales were also in decline.
Henry Ford II immediately adopted an aggressive management style. One of his first acts as company president was to place John Bugas in charge of taking control of the company from its entrenched management and firing Harry Bennett, head of the Ford Service Department, whom his grandfather initially hired to stifle attempts at unionization. Next, acknowledging his inexperience, he hired several seasoned executives to support him. He hired former General Motors executives Ernest Breech and Lewis Crusoe away from the Bendix Corporation. Breech was to serve in the coming years as HF2's business mentor, and the Breech–Crusoe team would form the core of Ford's business expertise, offering much-needed experience.
Additionally, Henry Ford II hired ten young up-and-comers, known as the "Whiz Kids". These ten, gleaned from an Army Air Forces statistical team, Henry Ford II envisioned as giving the company the ability to innovate and stay current. Two of them, Arjay Miller and Robert McNamara, went on to serve as presidents of Ford themselves. A third member, J. Edward Lundy, served in key financial roles for several decades and helped to establish Ford Finance's reputation as one of the best Finance organizations in the world. As a team, the "whiz kids" are probably best remembered as the design team for the 1949 Ford, which they took from concept to production in nineteen months, and which re-established Ford as a formidable automotive company. It was reported that 100,000 orders for this car were taken the day it was introduced to the market.
Henry Ford II became President and CEO of Ford Motor Company in 1945. In 1956, under his leadership, the company became a publicly traded corporation and dedicated its new world headquarters building. During his term as CEO of Ford, he resided in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. On July 13, 1960, he was additionally elected Chairman before resigning as President in November 9, 1960. He would ultimately resign as CEO on October 1, 1979, and as Chairman in 1980. His nephew, William Clay Ford, Jr. would later assume these positions after 20 years of non-Ford family management of the company. During the interim, the family interests were represented on the board by Henry's younger brother William Clay Ford, Sr., as well as Henry's son Edsel Ford II and his nephew William Clay Ford, Jr.
During the early 1960s Henry Ford II engaged in lengthy negotiations with Enzo Ferrari to buy Ferrari, with a view to expanding Ford's presence in motorsport in general and at the Le Mans 24 Hours in particular. However negotiations collapsed due to disputes over control over Ferrari's racing division. The collapse of the deal led him to inaugurate the Ford GT40 project, intended to end Ferrari's dominance at Le Mans (the Italian marque won the race six consecutive times from 1960 to 1965). After two difficult years in 1964 and 1965, in 1966 GT40s locked out the podium at both the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours before taking the first of four consecutive wins at Le Mans.
In 1973 and 1974, as it became clear that the American car market would begin to favor smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, Ford's then-President Lee Iacocca was highly interested in buying powertrains from Honda Motor Company as a way to minimize the cost of developing a small Ford car for the North American market, such as a modified version of Ford of Europe's Ford Fiesta. The plan was rejected by Henry Ford II, who stated: "No car with my name on the hood is going to have a Jap engine inside." Although, strictly speaking, it was too late for that, as the Ford Motor Company had been selling a Mazda compact pickup truck as the Ford Courier since late 1971, Henry Ford II did not like the idea of flagship North American passenger car models moving in that direction. Ford Motor Company did go on to adapt to the era in which Japanese, German, and American participation in a globalized automobile industry became tightly integrated. For example, Ford's relationship with Mazda was well developed even before the end of HF2's period of influence. However, in Iacocca's view, it lagged several years behind GM and Chrysler, due to Henry Ford II's unappealable influence, before others led it forward despite his resistance.
HF2's management style caused the company's fortunes to fluctuate in more ways than one. For example, he allowed the offering of public stock in 1956, which raised $650 million for the company, but the "experimental car" program instituted during his tenure, the Edsel, cost the company almost half that. Likewise, HF2 hired the creative Lee Iacocca, who was fundamental to the success of the Ford Mustang, in 1964, but fired Iacocca due to personal disputes in 1978 (about the break in their relationship, Iacocca quoted Ford as saying, "Sometimes you just don't like somebody.") Iacocca later retorted, "If a guy is over 25 percent a jerk, he’s in trouble. And Henry was 95 percent." He formally retired from all positions at Ford Motor Company on October 1, 1982, upon reaching the company's mandatory retirement age of 65, but remained the ultimate source of authority at Ford until his death in 1987.
Henry Ford II was married three times:
Ford died of pneumonia in Detroit at Henry Ford Hospital on September 29, 1987, at age 70. After a private funeral service at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, his remains were cremated and the ashes scattered.
Henry Ford resigned for the second time at the end of World War II. His eldest grandson, Henry Ford II, became president on Sept. 21, 1945. Even as Henry Ford II drove the industry's first postwar car off the assembly line, he was making plans to reorganize and decentralize the company to resume its prewar position as a major force in a fiercely competitive auto industry. Henry Ford II provided strong leadership for Ford Motor Company from the postwar era into the 1980s. He was president from 1945 until 1960 and chief executive officer from 1945 until 1979. He was chairman of the board of directors from 1960 until 1980, and remained as chairman of the finance committee from 1980 until his death in 1987.
Charles E. Sorensen
| Executive Vice-President of Ford Motor Company
10 April 1944 – 1 July 1946
Ernest R. Breech
| President of the Ford Motor Company
21 September 1945 – 9 November 1960
| CEO of the Ford Motor Company
21 September 1945 – 1 October 1979
Ernest R. Breech
| Chairman of the Ford Motor Company
13 July 1960 – 13 March 1980
Charles Emil Sorensen (7 September 1881 – 11 August 1968) was a Danish-American principal of the Ford Motor Company during its first four decades. Like most other managers at Ford at the time, he did not have an official job title, but he served functionally as a patternmaker, foundry engineer, mechanical engineer, industrial engineer, production manager, and executive in charge of all production.
By the end of his career, he had become an officer of the company: a vice president and a director. Speaking figuratively, he saw himself during most of his career as "a viceroy ruling the production province of the Ford empire," and at the end as a "regent," who managed the company during the "interregnum" between the reigns of Henry Ford I and Henry Ford II.Chrysler Falcon
The Chrysler Falcon was a two-seater roadster concept car designed by Virgil Exner, and built by Chrysler for the 1955 model year. The car was never put into production, but many of the ideas and styling elements used in the Falcon would be used in other Chrysler designs. Some features would not appear for many years, like the exposed side exhaust pipes which would not be used in a Chrysler production car until the Dodge Viper in 1992. The name Falcon was originally intended to be the name of the Plymouth Valiant, but Ford Motor Company released the Ford Falcon production car with the name first, after Henry Ford II requested use of the name. Chrysler agreed, scrambling to change it at the last minute with a contest among their employees.Designed to be the basis for a competitor to the Ford Thunderbird and Chevrolet Corvette, the Falcon had a carbureted, cast iron, 276 cu in (4.52 l) overhead valve V8 engine, rated at 170 hp (127 kW), with 255 lb⋅ft (346 N⋅m) of torque, mated to a two-speed automatic transmission. With a weight of 3,300 lb (1,497 kg), it gave the car impressive performance for the time. For long time everybody believed only a single vehicle was produced, which was shown at several autoshows, and eventually it was sold to a private owner, but Ghia really built three copies. One is in the Chrysler Museum and another, originally painted dark blue with white soft top, was sold in the U.S. and sent to Venezuela, where it stayed for long time, after coming back to the United States.Cristina Ford
Maria Cristina Vettore Austin (1926-2008) was
an Italian-born socialite who became better known as Cristina Ford or Mrs. Henry Ford II, due to her marriage to Henry Ford II, the chief executive officer of the Ford Motor Company (married on February 19, 1965).Edsel Ford
Edsel Bryant Ford (November 6, 1893 – May 26, 1943) was the son of Clara Jane Bryant Ford and the only child of Henry Ford. He was the president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 to his death in 1943. His eldest son was Henry Ford II.
He worked closely with his father, as sole heir to the business, but was keen to develop cars more exciting than the Model T ("Tin Lizzie"), in line with his personal tastes. Even as president, he had trouble persuading his father to allow any departure from this formula. Only a change in market conditions enabled him to develop the more fashionable Model A in 1927. Edsel also founded the Mercury division and was responsible for the Lincoln Zephyr and Lincoln Continental. He introduced important features, such as hydraulic brakes, and greatly strengthened the company's overseas production.
Ford was a major art benefactor in Detroit and also financed Admiral Richard Byrd's polar explorations. He died of stomach cancer aged 49, with his father resuming the presidency of the company, before handing it over to Henry Ford II.Edsel Ford II
Edsel Bryant Ford II (born December 27, 1948) is the great-grandson of Henry Ford and the son of Henry Ford II. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Ford Motor Company and serves on the finance committee and sustainability and innovation committee. He is a cousin of its Executive Chairman, William Clay Ford, Jr..Engineering Society of Detroit
The Engineering Society of Detroit (also known as ESD) is a regional engineering association, headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, serving engineers and related technical professionals in Southeast Michigan. The Society was founded in 1895 by a group of graduates from the University of Michigan, originally calling it the Detroit Association of Graduate Engineers.Individual Members of ESD can be elected to the grade of "Fellow" by the ESD Board of directors. The existing College of Fellows nominates candidates for the consideration of the Board of directors. Fellows are designated by the post-nominal FESD. Notable Fellows of ESD have included or do include Alex Dow, Henry Ford, Henry Ford II, Lee Iacocca, Albert Kahn, Keith Crain, Dr. David Cole and G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.Ernest R. Breech
Ernest R. Breech (1897–1978) was an American corporate executive. Although he is best remembered for his work in revitalizing Ford Motor Company in the years following World War II, he served similar roles at Trans World Airlines and other companies.
Breech was drafted by the St. Louis Browns but opted to attend Drury College (Drury University) instead. Breech was a founding member of Phi Alpha Sigma, later Theta Kappa Nu fraternity (now Lambda Chi Alpha).
Breech dropped out of college, later taking correspondence courses before taking his Certified Public Accountant exam. Breech worked for the Checker Cab Company, General Motors, and Bendix Aviation before being persuaded by Henry Ford II to come aboard at Ford.
Breech served as Ford Motor Company's chairman. Then in 1960, he was a member of the three-person trust overseeing Trans World Airlines' jet financing plan.He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1979.The Breech School of Business at Drury University is named in his honor due to his donation. Breech was a 33rd degree Freemason. His induction to that degree was highlighted in the October 8, 1956 issue of Life magazine.
A Great Lakes freighter acquired by the Ford Motor Co.'s dedicated fleet was renamed in his honor until the ship's sale in 1988. As of 2017, that freighter sailed for Lower Lakes Transportation as the Ojibway. http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/ojibway.htm.Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an American private foundation with the mission of advancing human welfare. Created in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford, it was originally funded by a US$25,000 gift from Edsel Ford. By 1947, after the death of the two founders, the foundation owned 90% of the non-voting shares of the Ford Motor Company. (The Ford family retained the voting shares.) Between 1955 and 1974, the foundation sold its Ford Motor Company holdings and now plays no role in the automobile company. Ahead of the foundation selling its Ford Motor Company holdings, in 1949 Henry Ford II created the Ford Motor Company Fund, a separate corporate foundation which to this day serves as the philanthropic arm of the Ford Motor Company and is not associated with the foundation. For years it was the largest, and one of the most influential foundations in the world, with global reach and special interests in economic empowerment, education, human rights, democracy, the creative arts, and Third World development.
The foundation makes grants through its headquarters and ten international field offices. For fiscal year 2014, it reported assets of US$12.4 billion and approved US$507.9 million in grants.Ford GT40
The Ford GT40 is a high-performance endurance racing car with the Mk I, Mk II, and Mk III model cars being based upon the British Lola Mk6, and were designed and built in England, while the GT40 Mk IV model was designed and built in the United States. The range was powered by a series of American-designed and built engines modified for racing. The GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four consecutive times, from 1966 to 1969 (1966 being the Mk II, 1967 the Mk IV, and 1968–1969 the oldest chassis design, the Mk I), including a 1-2-3 finish in 1966. In 1966, with Henry Ford II personally in attendance at Le Mans, the Mk II GT40 provided Ford with the first overall Le Mans victory for an American manufacturer, and the first victory for an American manufacturer at a major European race since Jimmy Murphy's triumph with Duesenberg at the 1921 French Grand Prix. The Mk IV GT40 that won Le Mans in 1967 is the only car designed and built entirely in the United States to achieve the overall win at Le Mans.The GT40 was originally produced to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari (who won at Le Mans six times in a row from 1960 to 1965). Ford/Shelby chassis #P-1075, which won in 1968 and 1969, is the second car in Le Mans history to win the race more than once, using the same chassis (originally believed to be the first, this was later proven wrong when it was revealed that the Ferrari 275P chassis 0816 that won the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans was in fact the same chassis that won the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans, that year in 250P configuration and with a 0814 chassis plate). Using an American Ford V-8 engine, originally of 4.7-liter displacement capacity (289 cubic inches), it was later enlarged to the 4.9-liter engine (302 cubic inches), with custom designed alloy Gurney–Weslake cylinder heads.
The car was named the GT (for Grand Touring) with the 40 representing its height of 40 inches (1.02 m), measured at the windshield, as required by the rules. Large-displacement Ford V8 engines (4.2-liter, 4.7-liter and 7-liter) were used, compared with the Ferrari V12, which displaced 3.0 liters or 4.0 liters.
Early cars were simply named "Ford GT". The name "GT40" was the name of Ford's project to prepare the cars for the international endurance racing circuit, and the quest to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first 12 "prototype" vehicles carried serial numbers GT-101 through GT-112. The "production" began and the subsequent cars—the MkI, MkII, MkIII, and MkV (with the exception of the MkIV, which were numbered J1-J12)—were numbered GT40P/1000 through GT40P/1145, and thus officially "GT40s". The name of Ford's project, and the serial numbers dispel the story that "GT40" was "only a nickname."
The contemporary Ford GT is a modern homage to the GT40.Ford Vega
Not to be confused with the Chevrolet Vega, a 1970s subcompact.The Ford Vega was the winning entry in a Ford-sponsored automotive design contest completed in 1953. Only one example was created.Ford World Headquarters
The Ford World Headquarters, also known as the Henry Ford II World Center and popularly known as the Glass House, is the administrative headquarters for Ford Motor Company, a 12-story, glass-faced office building designed to accommodate a staff of approximately 3,000. The building is located at 1 American Road at Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, Michigan, near Ford's historic Rouge plant, Greenfield Village, the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn's Henry Ford Centennial Library, and Fair Lane, Henry Ford's personal estate.In 2008, columnist George Will said the building opened at "the peak of American confidence" and described the headquarters as having a "sleek glass-and-steel minimalism that characterized up-to-date architecture in the 1950s, when America was at the wheel of the world and even buildings seemed streamlined for speed".While under design and construction, the building was called the "Central Staff Office Building" and was later referred to as the "New Central Office Building" to distinguish it from the company's prior headquarters nearby. The building was later referred to as the "Ford Motor Company Administrative Center" and was formally renamed the Henry Ford II World Center in June 1996.In early 2016, Ford announced a redesign of the headquarters building and its surrounding campus,
scheduled to begin in 2021 and projected to connect the Glass House to a series of new and existing buildings, parking decks, soccer fields and an arboretum.Ford v Ferrari
Ford v Ferrari (titled Le Mans '66 in the UK and other territories) is an upcoming American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold, and written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller. It stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale, while Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone and Ray McKinnon appear in supporting roles. The film follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles, who are dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca with the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.
It is scheduled to be released on November 15, 2019, by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures under the 20th Century Fox banner.Harry Bennett
Harry Herbert Bennett (January 17, 1892 – January 4, 1979), a former boxer and ex-Navy sailor, was an executive at Ford Motor Company during the 1930s and 1940s. He was best known as the head of Ford’s Service Department, or Internal Security. While working for Henry Ford, his union busting tactics, of which the Battle of the Overpass was a prime example, made him the nemesis of the United Auto Workers.
Henry Ford II fired him in 1945. He left Michigan to live in California, and died in Los Gatos, California, on January 4, 1979, of an undisclosed cause. He had various residences in Michigan, including Bennett's Lodge near Farwell, a log cabin-style house in East Tawas, and Bennett's Castle, located on the Huron River in Ypsilanti.Henry Ford II High School
Henry Ford II High School, simply referred to as "Ford", is a public high school located in the Metropolitan Detroit region in the city of Sterling Heights, Michigan, United States. It is a part of Utica Community Schools.
In 2004 Ford was recognized as a Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary School.Henry Ford family tree
Today the descendants of Henry Ford control the Ford Motor Company, although they have a minority ownership of 2%. Also, a member of the Ford family has controlled the Detroit Lions NFL franchise since 1963. Based on a market cap of $59.83 billion, the Ford family holds $1.2 billion worth of common stock. The following is the family tree of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company.List of CEOs of Ford Motor Company
Executive Chairman William Clay Ford, Jr.: September 6, 2006 to present. (titled Executive Chairman since stepping down as CEO, has been Chairman since January 1,1999).
Jim Hackett: May 22, 2017 to present (CEO)
Mark Fields: July 1, 2014 to May 22, 2017 (CEO)
Alan Mulally: September 5, 2006 to July 1, 2014 (CEO)
William Clay Ford Jr.: October 30, 2001  to September 5, 2006
Jacques Nasser: January 1, 1999 - 2001 (CEO)
Alex Trotman: November 1993 - December 31, 1998
Harold Arthur Poling: 1990 - 1993
Donald Petersen: 1985 - 1990
Philip Caldwell: 1979 - 1985 (CEO,also Chairman from 1980)
Henry Ford II 1960 to 1980 (Chairman)
Ernest R. Breech 1955 to 1960 (Chairman)
Henry Ford II 1945 to 1979  (CEO)
Henry Ford I 1906 to 1945 
John S. Gray 1903 to 1906
Chairman and CEO are single position unless noted (CEOs who were not Chairman were generally President at the time)John S Gray was the first CEORobert J. Sampson
Robert J. Sampson (born July 9, 1956 in Utica) is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and Director of the Social Sciences Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. From 2005 through 2010, he served as the Chair of the Department of Sociology. In 2011–2012, he was elected as the President of the American Society of Criminology.Sterling Heights, Michigan
Sterling Heights is a city in Macomb County of the U.S. state of Michigan, and one of Detroit's core suburbs. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 129,699. It is the second largest suburb in Metro Detroit, and the fourth largest city in Michigan. Sterling Heights consistently ranks as the safest city in Michigan with population of over 100,000.Walter Hayes
Walter Leopold Arthur Hayes (12 April 1924 – 26 December 2000) was an English journalist, and later public relations executive for Ford.
Hayes was key in developing Ford's Formula One program, by signing Jackie Stewart and funding the building of the Cosworth DFV V8 Formula One racing engine; and the creation of the Premier Automotive Group with the purchases of classic English brands Jaguar and Aston Martin.
|Life and history|