Martha Firestone Ford (born September 16, 1925) is the majority owner
and chairwoman of the
Detroit Lions of the National Football League
(NFL). She is also on the board of the Henry Ford Health System.
1 Early life and education
2 Ford family
4 See also
Early life and education
Born September 16, 1925 in Akron, Ohio, Firestone is the daughter of
Harvey S. Firestone, Jr. and Elizabeth Parke Firestone. Her paternal
Firestone Tire and Rubber Co.
Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. founder Harvey Samuel
Firestone and his wife Idabelle Smith Firestone.
Ford graduated from
Vassar College in 1946.
Martha first met her husband, William Clay Ford, at a lunch in New
York arranged and attended by both of their mothers, according to the
biography The Fords. Martha then was a Vassar student who had the
college nickname “Stoney.” William was a naval cadet at St. Mary's
U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School. They married on June 21, 1947 at St.
Paul's Episcopal Church in Akron, Ohio. By that time both families
had acquired considerable wealth, and the matchup between the
grandchildren of two empire-builders was reported by numerous news
Akron Beacon Journal called the Firestone-Ford nuptials
“the biggest society wedding in Akron’s history” and “the
Akron has seen in years” in numerous articles
chronicling the event. The couple received gifts from F.B.I. Director
J. Edgar Hoover, media publisher John S. Knight, and Mina Miller
The couple had four children: Martha Parke Morse (b. 1948), Sheila
Firestone Hamp (b. 1951),
William Clay Ford, Jr.
William Clay Ford, Jr. (b. 1957), and
Elizabeth Ford Kontulis (b. 1961). Her son William was as of
2015[update] the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor
Company. He had previously been the
Chief Executive Officer and Chief
Operating Officer of Ford. William also serves as Vice Chairman of the
Firestone Ford has 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Martha and her immediate family, and several other members of the
extended Ford family, have long lived at Grosse Pointe, Michigan.
Martha and William originally resided in
Grosse Pointe Woods
Grosse Pointe Woods after
relocating to the
Detroit area following their marriage. She has
Grosse Pointe Shores
Grosse Pointe Shores since 1960, when she and William had a
house built on Lake St. Clair.
On March 9, 2014, Martha's husband William died at the age of 88.
William had been the sole owner of the Lions since he bought out all
other owners in 1963 for US$4.5 million. On March 10, 2014 it was
announced that controlling interest in the Lions would pass to
Martha. She is the majority owner of the team, with each of her
four children holding small shares in the team.
Ford is one of five female NFL team owners. The others are Virginia
Halas McCaskey (Chicago Bears),
Kim Pegula (Buffalo Bills), Carol
Davis (Oakland Raiders), and
Denise DeBartolo York (San Francisco
Ford family tree
^ "Martha Ford". forbes.com. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
^ Shea, Bill (March 10, 2014). "Martha Ford now owner of
following husband's death will be the ultimate death of the lions".
Detroit Business. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
^ a b "
Detroit Lions: Martha Firestone Ford". detroitlions.com.
Retrieved 27 June 2016.
^ a b "William Clay Ford's wife, Martha, takes over as Lions' majority
owner; Bill Ford Jr. remains vice chair". mlive.com. Retrieved 27 June
^ "The college announced that William Clay Ford, director and vice
president of the Ford Motor Company, had donated $1 million to the
capital fund drive of 1969, bringing the total raised to $7 million. -
- A Documentary Chronicle of Vassar College". vassar.edu. Retrieved 27
^ a b Byard, Jim Mackinnon and Katie. "William Clay Ford's death
brings back memories of grand
Akron wedding in 1947". ohio.com.
Retrieved 27 June 2016.
^ "The Ford Family". gphistorical.org. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
^ Martha Ford takes over Lions ownership
Detroit Lions official site,
March 10, 2014
^ a b "Martha Ford now owner of
Detroit Lions following husband's
death". crainsdetroit.com. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 27 June
Founded in 1930
Formerly the Portsmouth Spartans (1930–33)
Based in Detroit, Michigan
Headquartered in Allen Park, Michigan
First-round draft picks
NFL on Thanksgiving Day
Paper Lion (film)
"What's Going On" (Marvin Gaye song)
Beverly Hills Cop
1932 Playoff Game
Curse of Bobby Layne
Mike Utley gives a thumbs up
Marty Mornhinweg takes the wind
Calvin Johnson rule"
Miracle in Motown
Green Bay Packers
William Clay & Martha Firestone Ford
Division championships (4)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (4)
Radio: Radio network
TV: Television network
Fox Sports Detroit
Current league affiliations
League: National Football League
Conference: National Football Conference
Division: North Division
Championship seasons in bold
Current owners of the National Football League
American Football Conference
Kim Pegula (Buffalo Bills)
Stephen M. Ross
Stephen M. Ross (Miami Dolphins)
Robert Kraft (New England Patriots)
Woody Johnson (New York Jets)
Steve Bisciotti (Baltimore Ravens)
Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals)
Dee Haslam (Cleveland Browns)
Rooney family (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Bob McNair (Houston Texans)
Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts)
Shahid Khan (Jacksonville Jaguars)
KSA Industries (Tennessee Titans)
Pat Bowlen (Denver Broncos)
Clark Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs)
Alex Spanos (Los Angeles Chargers)
Mark and Carol Davis (Oakland Raiders)
National Football Conference
Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys)
John Mara and
Steve Tisch (New York Giants)
Jeffrey Lurie (Philadelphia Eagles)
Daniel Snyder (Washington Redskins)
Virginia Halas McCaskey (Chicago Bears)
Martha Firestone Ford (
Green Bay Packers, Inc.
Green Bay Packers, Inc. (governed by a Board of Directors) (Green Bay
Zygi Wilf (Minnesota Vikings)
Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons)
Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers)
Gayle Benson (New Orleans Saints)
Glazer Family (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Bill Bidwill (Arizona Cardinals)
Stan Kroenke (Los Angeles Rams)
John and Denise York (San Francisco 49ers)