The Real Henry Ford

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Today, when we remember Henry Ford we think of a hero; a man so creative and inventive that some of us could only hope to ascend his level of integrity. But these attributes can only be viewed in our history books. In the beginning Ford was of course everything we have learned about but as he grew older, as the company matured, his mood became austere and bitter. There, as most see it, is always room for improvement. But when possible enhancements to his automobiles presented themselves, Ford was personally offended. He equated the cars to his ego, his achievements, himself and so when his colleagues suggested that he modify small aspects on the cars he would become angry and lash out on whatever or whoever was within reach. Along with his colleagues he also became even crueler to his son, Edsel. It had always disappointed Ford that his son did not possess the same fervor for business domination as he himself had developed and so Ford made it his personal task to make Edsel’s life as difficult as possible. After Ford stepped down as president of the company to simply be the owner, Edsel stepped up but Ford would not allow him to completely fulfill his role. Ford would undermine his decisions, encourage other executives to question him whenever possible, and placed roadblocks wherever he could. Henry Ford died on April 7, 1947 just two years after his decision to retire. He and his wife Clara whom he referred to as “Callie,” remained married for 59 years until his death. While his personality did seem to decay, his business still survives as does his legacy of being a successful businessman, intermittent philanthropist, and renowned American industrialist.

Henry Ford: Driven and sometimes dangerous. .Authors:Frost.Source:Biography, Jan2000, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p92, 6p, 9 Color Photographs, 8 Black and White Photographs.Document Type:Biography.Subject Terms:FORD, Henry, 1863-1947 FORD Motor Co.

AUTOMOBILE industry.Abstract:Profiles automobile maker Henry Ford....
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