Henry Ford (1863-1947) was one of America's greatest businessmen, the founder of Ford Motor Company and the man largely responsible for initiating the era of mass-consumption and mass-production in the American economy. Ford's innovative business practices, including standardization, the assembly line, and high wages for workers, revolutionized American industry.
Ford also became one of America's most prominent citizens in the early twentieth century, and began to take strong positions on social affairs. One of the causes Ford championed was the "Americanization" and assimilation of new immigrants. Ford sponsored an Americanization School for foreign workers at his auto plants, encouraging them to conform to middle-class American lifestyle standards if they wanted to keep their jobs.