William Clay Ford Sr.

Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford Sr. passed away recently. He was 88.

The Ford Motor Co. released a statement Sunday (Feb. 9) that said he had died of pneumonia at his home. He was the last surviving grandson of automotive pioneer Henry Ford and has owned the Lions since 1964.

“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Mr. Ford and extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Ford and to the entire Ford family,” Lions team president Tom Lewand said in a statement. “No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions.

“Those of us who had the opportunity to work for Mr. Ford knew of his unyielding passion for his family, the Lions and the city of Detroit. His leadership, integrity, kindness, humility and good humor were matched only by his desire to bring a Super Bowl championship to the Lions and to our community.”

Ford paid $4.5 million for the Lions in November 1963, which is now valued at approximately $900 million, according to Forbes.