Ford family keeps dynasty alive through five generations
The Detroit News
The descendants of Henry Ford have managed to do what many family dynasties have failed to do -- maintain firm control through generations. A look at the growing Ford family and where management and financial control lies:
Henry Ford: 1863-1947
Founder and owner: He launched Ford Motor Co. in 1903 after two failed attempts to start a car company. Credited with devising the first moving assembly line and creating the revolutionary Model T.
Married: Clara Jane Bryant
Edsel Ford: 1893-1943
President: Joined Ford in 1912 and became president in 1918 after his father retired from the company. He had an eye for design and an astute business sense, but was often overruled by his father.
Married: Eleanor Clay
The Ford family's 70.9 million Class B shares -- valued at $744.45 million -- account for only 3.7 percent of Ford Motor Co.'s total outstanding stock. Yet, according to company bylaws, the shares command a 40 percent voting stake in the company.
That power could diminish if the family sold off Class B stock. If the family's holdings fall below 33.7 million shares, special voting power is lost forever.
The Ford family controls 47,224,737 Class B shares held in voting trust controlled by William Clay Ford, Bill Ford Jr. and Edsel Ford II. The family votes these shares as a block.
Henry Ford II: 1917-87
President and chairman: A larger-than-life personality, "Hank the Deuce" took control of Ford at age 28 with the backing of his mother. He ran Ford until 1979, a tenure marked by brilliant business moves, periods of inattention and neglect and clashes with Lee Iacocca and other professional managers.
Married: Anne McDonnell (divorced)
Married: Maria Cristina Austin (divorced)
Married: Kathy DuRoss
Benson Ford: 1919-78
Director: Less forceful than his older brother, Benson joined the board at age 22 and became a vice president at 29. He's best known for running the Lincoln-Mercury division and working with dealers.
Married: Edith McNaughton
Value: $141.19 million
Known to the family as "Dodie," she is a major art collector -- her collection includes paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir and Picasso -- as well as a philanthropic force in Metro Detroit. In 1998, she gave $20 million to Detroit's Center for Creative Studies.
Married: Walter Buhl Ford II (no relation)
William Clay Ford: 1925
Value: $157 million
Also owns 16,625,979 shares of Ford Common Stock.
Value: $174.57 million
Director: Joined Ford in 1949. Named vice president in charge of the Continental division in 1954 and later headed design for the Lincoln brand. Served as vice chairman of the board from 1980-89. Ford pays him $100,000 a year for consulting services. He is a Ford director and chairman of the Detroit Lions.
Married: Martha Parke Firestone
Charlotte Ford: 1941
A glamorous jet-setter in her youth and author of the book "21st-Century Etiquette." Has often said she might have worked for Ford if not for her father's objections to women in the executive suite. Lives in New York.
Married: Stavros Niarchos (divorced)
Married: Anthony Forstmann (divorced)
Married: Edward Downe Jr. (divorced)
Anne Ford: 1943
A well-known Manhattan socialite like her older sister, she recently wrote the book "Laughing Allegra," a memoir about her struggle to cope with her daughter's learning disability.
Married: Giancarlo Uzielli (divorced)
Married: Charles Scarborough (divorced)
Edsel B. Ford: II: 1948
Value: $58.58 million
Also owns 4.5 million shares of common stock
Value: $47.3 million
Director: Long considered the family member most likely to become CEO, but never rose higher than vice president. Retired from the company in 1998, but remains a director and a $500,000-a year con******t. Lives in Grosse Pointe and is active in civic and charitable causes, including Detroit's 300th anniversary.
Married: Cynthia Layne Neskow
Benson Ford Jr.: 1949
Became the family's black sheep when he demanded a board seat in 1979 and hired controversial attorney Roy Cohn to sue to overturn his father's will. He later reconciled with the family and worked for the company for nearly a decade. Has homes in Michigan, California and Florida.
Paul and Lynn Ford Alandt, 1987
Value: $94.58 million
A major Class B shareholder, she supports a number of charitable and civic causes. Her husband owns Ford, Lincoln-Mercury and Volvo dealerships. Homes in Michigan, Florida and Texas.
Married: Paul Alandt
Walter Buhl Ford III: 1943
Worked for Ford from 1978-93, mostly for the Lincoln Mercury division. Antique gun collector and raises purebread dogs. Lives on 7,000-acre farm in Georgia.
Married: Barbara Posselius (divorced)
Married: Charlene Decraene (divorced)
Eleanor Bourke: 1946
Nicknamed "Nonie," she maintains homes in Connecticut and Maine.
Married: Frederic Bourke Jr. (divorced)
Josephine Ingle: 1949
Met her husband in college in the 1960s and moved to a rustic cabin in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. The couple own a vineyard producing award-winning Riesling wines.
Married: John Ingle Jr.
Alfred Brush Ford: 1950
He joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1974 and renamed himself Ambarish Das. He donated part of his fortune to convert a Grosse Pointe mansion into an ashram. Active in Ford corporate charities and investor in software firms.
Married: Sharmila Bhattacharya
William Clay Ford's family
Martha Parke Ford Morse: 1948
Called "Muff" by the family, she taught school in New York and married an investment banker. Has homes in Pennsylvania and Florida.
Married: Peter Morse
Sheila Firestone Hamp: 1951
An Ann Arbor resident and active in local charities and civic causes. Her husband, Steve Hamp, is president of The Henry Ford museum complex and a close adviser to Bill Ford Jr.
Married: Steve Hamp
William Clay Ford Jr.: 1957
Value: $34.5 million
Also owns 3.3 million shares of common stock
Value: $34.7 million
Chairman and CEO: Joined Ford after graduating from Princeton and was named a director in 1988. Left management in 1996 to head the board's powerful finance committee. Elected Ford's chairman in 1999, then ousted Jacques Nasser to become CEO two years later.
Married: Lisa Vanderzee
Elizabeth Kontulis: 1961
A Princeton graduate, she is active as a volunteer at The Henry Ford. Lives in Connecticut.
Married: Charles Kontulis
The fifth generation has more than 30 members, many of whom live outside Michigan. The growing number of heirs -- the great-great-grandchildren of Henry Ford -- will challenge the family's efforts to maintain unity and control of the company. Elena Ford, 36, granddaughter of Henry Ford II, is the first fifth-generation family member to become an executive at the company.
Source: Ford Motor Co. 2003 proxy statement, Fortune magazine, Ford: The Men and the Machine
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My next Ford.....