Detroit Lions Owner William Clay Ford Dies: William Clay Ford, who once steered a car from his grandfather Henry Ford's lap but never got the chance to run the family business, died on Sunday at his home in Grosse Pointe, Mich., of pneumonia. He was 88. Ford, who also was the longtime owner of the Detroit Lions football team, represented the automaker's last direct link to the days when the company belonged entirely to the Ford family. Ford bought control of the Lions in 1964 for $6 million, the largest cash price then paid for a sports team. The team has never gone to a Super Bowl.