Reports are surfacing today that Detroit Lions Owner William Clay Ford has died.
Unconfirmed reports that Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford has died…
— WWMT Andy Dominianni (@WWMTAndyD) March 9, 2014
#Lions team owner William Clay Ford Sr. has died.
— Jennifer Hammond (@HammerFox2) March 9, 2014
His son, Bill Ford Jr., had taken on an increasingly active role as the public face of ownership so a transition had been in the works for the past few years.
William Clay Ford bought the Detroit Lions in 1963 for a sum of $4.5 million. While he has often received criticism for the Lions not fielding a championship team during his tenure as owner, his biggest fault was probably his loyalty. Where many other owners would have pulled the plug on the failed Matt Millen experiment much earlier, Ford stood by Millen until Bill Ford Jr. made public statements that a change was necessary.