Henry Ford II Biography & Net Worth
|Popular Name:||Henry Ford II|
Henry Ford II
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Age:||Died On September 29, 1987 (aged 70)|
Anne McDonnell (m. 1940; div. 1964)
Maria Cristina Vettore (m. 1965; div. 1976)
Kathleen DuRoss (m. 1980–1987)
|Profession:||Businessman, Automobile Executive|
|Net Worth:||$400 Million|
Henry Ford II was an American businessman and executive in the automotive industry. He was the uncle of Bill Ford and the brother of William Clay Ford Sr. For a period of fifteen years he served as president of the Ford Motor Company starting from 1945 to 1960. He also served in various positions within the company, such as chief executive officer (1945 to 1979), as well as chairman of the board of directors (1960 to 1980). The company became a publicly traded corporation by 1956 under his leadership. He also served as Ford Foundation’s president from 1943 to 1950, and contributed in making the Ford Motor Company what it is today.
Henry Ford II’s Biography & Career
He was born on September 4, 1917 in Detroit, Michigan, United States to Edsel Ford and Eleanor Clay Ford. His parents raised him in affluence along with his sister Josephine, and brothers Benson and William. He is the eldest grandson of Henry Ford, the American business magnate who founded Ford Motors.
Henry attended Yale University and was a member of the business staff of the campus humor magazine ‘The Yale Record’ when he was in the institution. After completing his graduation, he moved straight to join the family business and played his role in the sustenance and growth of the company.
He occupied many top-level and key positions at The Ford Motor Company, serving as president from 1945 to 1960, as the chief executive officer from 1945 to 1979, and as chairman of the board of directors from 1960 to 1980. He also served as Ford Foundation’s president from 1943 to 1950, and made the company public in 1956.
In 1973 and 1974, as it became widespread information that the American automobile market would begin to favor smaller, fuel-efficient cars, the company’s then-President Lee Iacocca was very much interested in buying powertrains from Honda Company as a way of minimizing the cost of building a small Ford car for the American market, such as a customized version of Ford Fiesta. The plan was rejected by Henry who mentioned that no car with his name would have a Jap engine inside. Although, strictly speaking, it was already late for that, as the Ford Company had been selling a Mazda pickup truck as the Ford Courier since 1971, Henry did not like the initiative of flagship American passenger car models stirring in that direction.
Ford Motor Company went on to adapt to the period in which German, Japanese, and American involvement in a globalized automobile industry became strongly integrated. Henry Ford’s management style made the company’s fortunes to rise and fall in more ways than one. For example, he enabled the offering of public stock in the year 1956, and it raised $650 million for the company, but his “experimental car” program, known as the Edsel, cost the corporation almost half that. Likewise, he hired the innovative Lee Iacocca, who was instrumental to the success of the Ford Mustang, but fired Iacocca in 1978 due to personal disputes.
Upon reaching the company’s compulsory retirement age of 65, Henry Ford formally retired from all positions at the Ford Motor Company on October 1, 1982. However, he remained the definitive source of authority at the company until his death five years later.
Awards & Achievements
In 1969, Ford was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1983
Personal Life & Family
Henry Ford II was married three times in his lifetime. He first married Anne McDonnell in 1940, and they divorced twenty-four years later. The following year after he ended his first marriage, Ford tied the knot with Maria Cristina Vettore. The enjoyed a blissful marriage until their divorce fifteen years later. He then got married to Kathleen DuRoss in 1980, and they lived together until his demise.
Ford died at age 70 at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit on 29 September 1987. The cause of his death was pneumonia in Detroit. A private funeral service was held for him at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, and his remains were cremated, with the ashes scattered.
Henry Ford II Net Worth
A native of Detroit, American businessman and automobile executive Henry Ford II had a net worth estimated at more than $400 million at the time of his demise in 1987. In today’s currency value, that figure is the same as $905 million (after adjusting for inflation). His fortune originated solely from his earnings and shares as a part of his family-owned Ford Motor Company where he served in several positions throughout his lifetime.