Henry Ford Net Worth At Death (Forbes) – How Did He Get Rich? Exposed!

Henry Ford Net Worth At Death

Henry Ford had an estimated net worth of $200 Billion at death (adjusted for inflation). He was an industrialist who revolutionized assembly line production for the automobile, making the Model T one of America’s greatest inventions. He earned the majority of his income from Ford.

Henry Ford was an American automobile manufacturer who developed the assembly line mode of production, which revolutionized the automotive industry, in 1908.

As a result, Ford sold millions of cars and rose to prominence as a global business leader. The company eventually lost its market dominance, but it had a long-lasting impact on other technological advancements, labor issues, and US infrastructure. Today, Ford is credited with helping to build the American economy during the country’s vulnerable early years and is regarded as one of the country’s leading businessmen.

To calculate the net worth of Henry Ford, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and personal debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Henry Ford
Net Worth: $200 Billion
Monthly Salary: $200 Thousand+
Annual Income: $2 Million+
Source of Wealth: Industrialist, Entrepreneur, Engineer, Inventor

Early Life and Education

Ford was born on July 30, 1863, on his family’s farm in Wayne County, Michigan, near Dearborn.

Ford’s father gave him a pocket watch when he was 13 years old, which he promptly disassembled and reassembled. Friends and neighbors were impressed and asked him to repair their watches as well.

Ford, dissatisfied with farm work, left home at the age of 16 to work as a machinist at a shipbuilding firm in Detroit. In the years that followed, he learned to operate and service steam engines as well as study bookkeeping.

Ford married Clara Ala Bryant in 1888. Edsel, the couple’s son, was born in 1893.

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Ford was hired as an engineer by the Detroit Edison Company in 1890. His natural abilities earned him the position of chief engineer in 1893.

During this time, Ford was working on his plans for a horseless carriage. Ford built his first gasoline-powered buggy in 1892, with a two-cylinder, four-horsepower engine. He built his first model car, the Ford Quadricycle, in 1896.

He attended a meeting with Edison executives the same year and found himself presenting his automobile plans to Thomas Edison. The lighting genius persuaded Ford to create a second, improved model.

Ford Motor Company

Ford received his first patent for a carburetor in 1898. Ford left Edison Illuminating Company in 1899 to pursue his car-making business full-time, thanks to funds raised from investors following the development of a third model car.

After a few failed attempts at building automobiles and businesses, Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903.

Model T

Ford introduced the Model T, the first car affordable to the majority of Americans, in October 1908 and continued to build it until 1927. The car, also known as the “Tin Lizzie,” was known for its durability and versatility, and it quickly became a commercial success.

Ford Motor Company achieved 100 percent gains for several years. Simple to drive and inexpensive to repair, especially after Ford invented the assembly line, Model Ts accounted for nearly half of all cars in America in 1918.

By 1927, Ford and his son Edsel had launched another successful automobile, the Model A, and the Ford Motor Company had grown into an industrial behemoth.

Henry Ford’s Assembly Line

Ford introduced the first moving assembly line for mass production of automobiles in 1913. This new technique reduced the time required to build a car from 12 hours to two and a half hours, lowering the price of the Model T from $850 in 1908 to $310 by 1926 for a much-improved model.

As a way of keeping the best workers loyal to his company, Ford instituted the $5 wage for an eight-hour workday ($110 in 2011), which was more than double what workers were previously earning on average.

More than his profits, Ford became famous for his revolutionary vision: the production of an inexpensive automobile by skilled workers earning consistent wages and working a five-day, 40-hour work week.

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Philosophy and Philanthropy

Ford was a staunch pacifist who campaigned against World War I, even funding a peace ship to Europe. Ford and his family later established the Ford Foundation in 1936 to provide ongoing grants for research, education, and development.

In business, Ford offered profit sharing to select employees who stayed with the company for six months and, most importantly, who lived honorably.

Simultaneously, the company’s “Social Department” investigated an employee’s drinking, gambling, and other unsavory activities to determine eligibility for participation.

Henry Ford, Anti-Semite

Despite his charitable intentions, Ford was a staunch anti-Semite. He even went so far as to support The Dearborn Independent, a weekly newspaper that promoted such views.

Ford published a number of anti-Semitic pamphlets, including “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem” in 1921. Adolf Hitler awarded Ford the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the highest award Nazis gave to foreigners, in 1938.

A lawsuit filed in Newark, New Jersey in 1998 accused Ford Motor Company of profiting from the forced labor of thousands of people at one of its truck factories in Cologne, Germany, during WWII. In turn, the Ford Motor Company claimed that the factory, not the American corporate headquarters, was under Nazi control.

Ford Motor Company released a study in 2001 that found the company did not profit from its German subsidiary, while also promising to donate $4 million to human rights studies on slavery and forced labor.


Ford died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 7, 1947, at the age of 83, near his Dearborn estate, Fair Lane.

Henry Ford Museum

Ford was a voracious collector of Americana, with a particular interest in technological advances and the lives of ordinary people such as farmers, factory workers, shopkeepers, and business owners. He decided to create a space where they could celebrate their lives and interests.

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, which opened in 1933, displays thousands of objects collected by Ford as well as many recent additions such as clocks and watches, an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, presidential limousines, and other exhibits.

Operational railroad roundhouses and engines, the Wright Brothers bicycle shop, a replica of Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory, and Ford’s relocated birthplace are also on display in the expansive outdoor Greenfield Village.

“When we are finished,” Ford said of the museum, “we shall have reproduced American life as lived; and that, I believe, is the best way of preserving at least a part of our history and tradition.”

Success Lessons From Henry Ford

1. Use of Innovative Strategy

In your business, always strive to discover innovative ways of doing things. Think about how you can rebrand your product that would make it look different from others in the market.

Or how you can change your production techniques that would make the process cost less while not affecting the quality of your product. Or how your customers can reach your products easier and faster than what is contemporary obtainable.

Just think of a way to make you or your product positively different. Henry Ford applied this tactic many times, but the most remarkable was when he changed the daily wage from the contemporary $2.34 to $5! It seemed crazy, but he knew exactly what he was doing.

By offering such high wages he was able to attract the best mechanics in the entire city, they came with their expertise, their ideas and their genius. Productivity increased tremendously, while training cost fell.

2. Know When to be Hard and Rigid, and when to be Soft and Flexible

Although many business publications and articles would advise you to always trust your guts and to be determined and dogged on what you think is the right decision, it is equally as important to know when to be flexible and heed advices from family, friends and business associates.

Henry was known to be a stubborn and strong willed individual. This character helped him immensely in a couple of cases, for example, in 1902, when his investors were impatient about putting an automobile on the road but Ford wanted a more efficient car. Rather than bend to their wishes, he chose to leave the company.

A similar example can be found with Mary Kay Ash and the shareholders of her company. But this same character almost ruined Ford’s company. At first it was in the mid- 1920s, when sales of the Model T were beginning to decline due to increasing competition.

The other companies were incorporating modern mechanical features to their cars and offering customers a credit payment plan. Edsel advised his father that they should incorporate new features into the Model T but Henry refused. Sales kept dropping until production of the Model T was eventually stopped.

And then later in his life, after the sudden death of his only son, Edsel, Henry held tight to the company despite how sick he was. He even sacked Sorensen, a man who was instrumental to the development of the assembly line and who had been with him (Henry) right from the very start.

The company was declining so fast, losing over $10 million ($136,290,000 in today’s money) every month that the government was tempted to take it away from Ford.

It took the intervention of Edsel’s widow, who led a minor coup to remove Henry Ford and install her son, Henry Ford II, for normalcy to return. It is good, even necessary to be firm in business, but you have to know when it is time to be flexible.

Favorite Henry Ford Quotes

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.


Employers only handle the money – it is the customer who pays the wages.


Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.


Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’


There are no big problems; there are just a lot of little problems. You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.

View our larger collection of Henry Ford quotes.

Further Reading

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How To Become Rich Like Henry Ford?

Henry Ford did not become rich by luck. To become as rich as Henry Ford, you have to work smart.

Successful people become rich because they take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. They are in the right place at the right time and take the right action.

Thanks to the Internet, the world has changed massively in recent years. Nowadays it has become much easier to make money online.

Instead of looking for a 9-5 job and staying in your comfort zone, it’s better if you become your own boss as soon as possible.

You can learn how to build a digital asset that generates cash flow for you while you sleep to grow your wealth quickly.

If you seize this golden opportunity in time, you can become as successful as Henry Ford one day.

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