Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – The Detroit Lions and the National Football League (NFL) are mourning the death of team owner William Clay Ford, who passed away Sunday of pneumonia. He was 88.
“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Mr. Ford and extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Ford and to the entire Ford family,” Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement. “No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions.”
Lewand said Ford was known for his unyielding passion for his family, the Lions and the city of Detroit.
“His leadership, integrity, kindness, humility and good humor were matched only by his desire to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Lions and to our community. Each of us in the organization will continue to relentlessly pursue that goal in his honor,” he said.
William Ford is a grandson of auto pioneer Henry Ford. When he was a Ford Motor Company executive in the early 1960s, Ford bought the Lions for $6 million in the fall of 1963 and ran the organization for the past 50 years.
“For five decades, Mr. Ford’s passion for the Lions, Detroit, and the NFL was the foundation of one of the NFL’s historic franchises,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
“As an NFL owner, Mr. Ford helped bring the NFL through enormous periods of change and growth, always guided by his commitment to what was best for the NFL and his beloved Lions,” Goodell added.
The Lions made just 10 postseason appearances and won one playoff game in Ford’s tenure, a 38-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in January of 1992.