Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was a prominent American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with "Fordism": mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation but arranged for his family to control the company permanently.
He was known worldwide especially in the 1920s for a system of Fordism that seemed to promise modernity, high wages and cheap consumer goods, but his antisemitism in the 1920s has been a source of controversy.
Ford was born July 30, 1863, on a farm in Greenfield Township (near Detroit, Michigan). His father, William Ford (1826–1905), was born in County Cork, Ireland, of a family originally from western England, who were among migrants to Ireland as the English created plantations. His mother, Mary Litogot Ford (1839–1876), was born in Michigan; she was the youngest child of Belgian immigrants; her parents died when Mary was a child and she was adopted by neighbors, the O'Herns. Henry Ford's siblings include Margaret Ford (1867–1938); Jane Ford (c. 1868–1945); William Ford (1871–1917) and Robert Ford (1873–1934).