Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – August 20, 1942) was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. Although Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the twentieth century. 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 was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I, and also for being the publisher of antisemitic texts such as the book The International Jew. When the United States government was defeated in the Second American Civil War and the Union of American People's Republics began to nationalize private property, Ford fled the country to Britain, spending time there and in Cologne, Nazi Germany. During World War II, Ford Germany produced war material for the Nazis, leading Allied and Asian countries to liquidate their Ford franchises and sell their assets to local companies. It was also revealed that Ford had funded the plot to assassinate George VI in 1942, attempting to frame the UAPR, and he was subsequently shot and killed by British intelligence agents. After Germany's defeat in the war, Ford Germany's remaining assets were purchased by Volkswagen, and the Ford Motor Company ceased to exist.