Edsel Ford was a famous entrepreneur, business executive, and philanthropist. He was the only child of Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, and Clara Bryant Ford. Edsel served as president of Ford Motor Company from 1919 until his death in 1943.
Edsel Ford worked closely with his father, Henry Ford, as the sole heir to the business. However, he wanted to develop cars that were more exciting than the Model T, which he considered to be outdated.
Even as president, he had trouble persuading his father to allow any changes to the Model T.
It wasn't until market conditions changed in 1927 that Edsel was able to develop the more fashionable Model A. He also founded the Mercury division and was responsible for the Lincoln-Zephyr and Lincoln Continental.
Edsel introduced important features, such as hydraulic brakes, and greatly strengthened the company's overseas production.
Edsel Ford played a significant role in the United States war effort during World War 2. He was the president of Ford Motor Company at the time, and he oversaw the company's transformation into a major producer of war materials.
Ford Motor Company produced a wide variety of war materials for the United States government, including tanks, trucks, jeeps, and airplanes.
The company also produced B-24 Liberator bombers at its Willow Run plant in Michigan. Willow Run was the largest factory in the world at the time, and it produced one B-24 bomber every hour.
Edsel Ford was a strong supporter of the war effort, and he worked tirelessly to ensure that Ford Motor Company met the government's production goals. He also traveled to Europe to meet with Allied leaders and to inspect Ford Motor Company's factories in Britain and France.
Edsel Ford's efforts were instrumental in helping the United States win World War II. He was a true patriot who dedicated his life to serving his country.
Edsel Ford came from a well-known family and was raised in wealth. His family had a large mansion that had many means of entertainment in order to encourage him not to engage in behaviors they did not approve of.
His father was strict and could be cold towards him. He pushed his son to prove himself and earn his position.
His mother was a constant encourager to him and gave him a pleasant demeanor.
His wife Eleanor was beautiful in her time and gave him four children who would grow up to become successful and excellent examples for Ford Motor Company.
Edsel died of stomach cancer that he kept hidden from his family due to his work on planes for the government in World War 2. He believed that service for his country was more important than his health.
He had two sons who served in World War 2.
Family Tree Chart
Henry Ford (1863 - 1947) - He was the famous tycoon who built the Ford Motor Company. His ability to build efficient production and affordable machines allowed him to mass produce for the general public. He and his wife had one child.
Clara Jane Bryant (1866 - 1950) - She was nicknamed "The Believer" by her husband because she was the only one who believed in his idea of a motor carriage. She and her husband were strict Episcopalians and did everything to keep their son away from drinking and smoking.
Eleanor Lowthian Clay (1896 - 1976) - She was the loving wife of Edsel, who gave him three children. She became a widow at an early age after Edsel passed away.
Henry Ford II (1917 - 1987) - He became the next president of the company after his father died and his elderly grandfather stepped down. He helped the company improve from what was terrible numbers and produced a chain of cars that revitalized the Ford Motor Company.
Benson Ford Sr. (1919 - 1978) - In June 1943, he and Henry II represented the 41.9% of shares that had been held by their father, Edsel I. One of the 1950s Ford Motor Co. directors and vice-presidents, he ran the Mercury Div. 1948-56, then took charge of Lincoln-Mercury dealer relations.
Josephine Clay Ford (1923 - 2005) - In 2001, Time magazine estimated her fortune at $416 million. The Detroit Institute of Arts, the Josephine Ford Cancer Center, and the College for Creative Studies, an art and design college in Detroit, were among the recipients of millions from Josephine and the foundation she established with her late husband.
William Clay Ford (1925 - 2014) - He purchased the Detroit Lions in 1963 for $6 million. Ford was the youngest son of Edsel Ford and Eleanor Clay Ford. Mr. Ford was the last surviving grandchild of the auto-magnate Henry Ford, and he was the largest individual shareholder in Ford Motor Company. He died of pneumonia when he was 88.