Ed Lundy: Whiz Kid helped take Ford to new heights
October 6, 2007
BY JOE ROSSITER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Joseph Edward (Ed) Lundy, a former Ford Motor Co. executive and one of the original Whiz Kids credited with rebuilding the Dearborn automaker in the post World War II era, died Tuesday. He was 92.
The Whiz Kids, a group of 10 efficiency experts that included Robert McNamara, who later became President John F. Kennedy's Defense Secretary, were hired in 1946 by Henry Ford II to dig into company operations and make recommendations for improvements.
Fresh out of the Army Air Force where they did similar work, they began by asking so many questions that Ford employees originally called them the Quiz Kids, but it evolved into the more famous nickname as a result of their swift achievements.
"Ed Lundy was a true pioneer in business and is a celebrated figure in Ford Motor Co. history," Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said in a statement. "He was a consummate professional, role model and leader. During his 33 years of service, Ed Lundy rewrote the rules of finance in the auto industry."
Hired as a financial planning manager, Mr. Lundy gradually rose through the ranks, serving as controller and vice-president of finance before becoming chief financial officer in 1967. He had a reputation for recruiting some of the best and brightest young professionals from the nation's top business schools.
Usually the first to arrive at work each morning, Mr. Lundy was a familiar figure in his Brooks Brothers suits and sported his customary brush haircut from his days in the service. He retired from Ford as chief financial officer in June 1979 but stayed on with the Board of Directors until 1985.
A longtime Dearborn resident, Mr. Lundy was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2003.
Born in Clarion, Iowa, Mr. Lundy was a graduate of University of Iowa in 1935 and taught economics at Princeton University before serving during World War II as an Army major doing statistical control work for the Air Force.
A devout Catholic, Mr. Lundy never married and was known as a private man who shunned publicity.
A memorial service will be held Monday at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 22430 Michigan Ave., Dearborn.
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