Henry Ford

July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947

Look, history is complicated.

On one hand, Henry Ford was one of the most recognizable 20th Century names on the planet. The industrialist and businessman was largely responsible for ushering in the age of, not only mass-produced and “affordable” automobiles, but also of mass-produced goods in general. The Ford Model T began production in 1908 and opened up automobile travel to the American middle-class and changed the course of personal mobility. His formula for assembly-line production coupled with relatively well-paid workers changed American industrialism. Of course, the Ford Motor Company would go on to become one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

On the OTHER hand…for all the good Ford did for industry, he certainly had his major flaws. Ford was a vocal anti-Semite and spent much of the 1920s publishing conspiracy theories about the Jewish people in his own newspaper as well as a controversial book. Ford’s writings made their way to Germany and impressed the likes of Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Hitler. Not really the kind of company history looks kind upon. When even President Woodrow Wilson thinks your views are problematic…it’s probably time to rethink some things. A boycott of Ford products aided in convincing Ford to shut down his newspaper. He issued an open-letter apology for his views, but its authenticity has long been suspect.

In the years leading up to his 1947 death from a cerebral hemorrhage, it is said that Ford – upon viewing the atrocities revealed by the liberation of the German concentration camps of World War II – finally showed some remorse for his previous views.

The Ford Motor Company remains, to this day, one of the world’s most premiere manufacturing companies.

Burial

Ford Cemetery – Detroit, MI

Specific Location

Technically the churchyard cemetery of Triumph Church, this small cemetery is filled with Ford’s family. Henry’s large marker is in the middle, immediately as you enter the gate, marked by a large obelisk.

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