Henry Ford II Takes Over
September 21,1945, marked a turning point in the Ford empire. Henry Ford, who had been in charge, and who had been allowing the ex-bodyguard Harry Bennett to take a major role in running the company, finally stepped down. Ford had been suffering paralytic strokes. Henry Ford II took over as President and at all levels of decision making. Clara Ford and Mrs. Edsel Ford had forced the decision, and within minutes after Henry Ford II was in office he got rid of Bennett. Getting rid of Bennett's men in the empire took time, and with old management in shambles, post-war machinery needing reconversion, and post-war strikes (none at their own plants) the new President took bold steps. He gathered around him a new team and formed new policy. Henry Ford II picked men like Robert McNamara of the Harvard School of Business and a group called the "Whiz Kids" to place Ford back in a position of automotive leadership.
Henry Ford died April 7, 1947.