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Meet Sheila Ford Hamp, sports fan, former junior tennis standout, owner of Detroit Lions

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Sheila Ford Hamp, the second of Martha Firestone Ford’s four children, succeeds her mother as principal owner and chairman of the Detroit Lions after spending the last six seasons as one of the team’s vice chairmen.

Ford Hamp, a sports enthusiast who participated in national junior tennis tournaments before playing tennis at Yale University where she was in the first class of women to graduate, has taken part in key Lions organizational decisions since her mother has been principal owner.

Sheila Ford Hamp is taking over as Lions owner from her mother, Martha Firestone Ford.

Martha Firestone Ford took over the team after William Clay Ford’s death in March 2014. He had been owner of the franchise since 1963.

Ford Hamp was present along with her mother last December when they spoke to reporters and discussed why they believed general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia would return for 2020.

She acknowledged the decision wouldn’t be overly popular with fans.

“That would’ve been the popular choice, the popular decision, and we knew that,” Ford Hamp said at the time. “But as I say, we’re doing what is right for the organization.”

Ford Hamp serves on the NFL’s Super Bowl and Major Events Committee and the board for Detroit Lions Charities. She and husband, Steve, co-chair the board of Jeff Daniels' Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea. She also is vice-chairman of the Board of the Henry Ford, and serves on the Boards of The Ford Motor Company Fund and the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House.

achengelis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @chengelis