William Clay Ford Sr., the last surviving grandchild of Ford Motor Co founder Henry Ford, died on Sunday at age 88, the company said.
Ford, owner of the NFL's Detroit Lions and father of William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of the automaker, died of pneumonia at his home in the Detroit suburb Grosse Pointe Shores.
Ford, who was director emeritus of the automaker at the time of his death, started with Ford after graduating from Yale in 1949 and spent 57 years with the company.
In addition to William Jr., Ford is survived by his wife of 66 years, Martha Firestone Ford; daughters Martha Ford Morse, Sheila Ford Hamp and Elizabeth Ford Kontulis; 14 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
"My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community," William Jr. said in a statement released by Ford.
"He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, yet he will continue to inspire us all."
Ford bought the Lions in 1963 and was the team's chairman until his death.