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Martha Ford takes over as owner of Lions

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The Detroit Lions' new owner is Martha Ford.

Duane Burleson

The Detroit Lions have announced that Martha Ford, the widow of William Clay Ford, is the new owner of the team. William Clay Ford, who passed away at the age of 88 on Sunday, had been the Lions' owner since 1963. Now Martha Ford, 88, is the official owner of the franchise.

Here's the statement the Lions released on Monday about this news:

"Pursuant to long-established succession plans, Mr. Ford’s controlling interest in the Lions passes to Mrs. Martha Ford. She and her four children will continue to be involved in the ownership of the franchise, as they have during Mr. Ford’s tenure."

The Lions also announced on Monday that Bill Ford Jr. is still the vice chairman of the team. In recent years, he has really been the public face of the Lions' ownership, so there won't be much of a change in that regard. Ford Jr. will continue to serve as the vice chairman, and he will likely continue to be the most involved member of the Lions' ownership.