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Many believe his father’s abuse caused Edsel to become ill in the 1930s. Eventually he died of stomach cancer at his Grosse Point Shores home in 1943 at the age of 49. Before his death in 1941, however, the union was recognized by Ford Motor Company.

There is no doubt that after Edsel’s death, Ford intended to turn the company over to Harry. Some believe he wanted to do that even before his son died. The two strong women in Henry Ford’s life would prevent that from happening,

Edsel Ford sympathized with the union.

LiBRARY of Congress

His wife, Clara, said she would divorce him if Harry was given the company. Edsel’s wife, Eleanor, blamed Harry for her husband’s declining health and subsequent death. Her ace card: Ford stock. She threatened to sell it all if Harry was put in charge. Ford eventually caved in to the ladies’ demands. Eleanor’s son, young Henry Ford II would take over the presidency and eventually become chairman.

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