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Happy Birthday Henry Ford!

 Today is the birthday of Henry Ford, American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company.   

Ford did not invent the automobile, but he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford to buy.  As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world.  He is credited with “Fordism”, that is, mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers.  (I love that part too!)

Henry Ford wearing a suit and tie

Anyhoo, so in 1814, Henry married Clara.  They had a son named Edzel.  Edzel married Eleanor and had William Clay Ford who went on and married Martha Firestone. 

I KNOW!  That’s how the Ford and Firestone empires go together!  Stay with me here….

They had Henry’s great-great grandson William Clay Ford Jr. who graduated from Princeton University and currently serves as the CEO of Ford Motor Company.

William Clay Ford, Jr. wearing a suit and tie

Think the heir to the Ford/Firestone fortune is all about the silver spoon?  Think again!

In 1999, a Ford Powerhouse had an explosion that killed several Ford employees,.  Bill wanted to rush to the scene but one of his staff cautioned, “Generals don’t go out to the front lines.” 

Bill said: “Then bust me down to private.”

(He studied history at Princeton and he donates his CEO salary to charities so this guy is the TOTAL poster boy for Princeton’s mission!)