December 8, 2017

Where Harold Ford Jr came from

The sexual harassment scandals have now included former Congressmember and MSNBC commentator Harold Ford Jr, who was never all that interesting, but his family was as this story recalls

Memphis Commercial Appeal  - . Harold Ford Jr. is a 47-year-old member of the prominent Ford family of Memphis and became a well-known figure on the national stage through his terms in Congress and his TV appearances. At one point he was considered one of Washington's most eligible bachelors. In 2001, People magazine listed Ford as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.

Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. was fired by Morgan Stanley following the company's investigation into alleged misconduct, according to a report Wochit

The Ford family originally rose to prominence within Memphis' African-American community through its successful operation of funeral businesses. Some local funeral homes still bear the Ford name, among them N.J. Ford and Sons Funeral Home and E.H. Ford Mortuary.

Many members of the Ford family have been elected to city, county, state and federal offices. Among the most prominent was Harold Ford Sr., who used his charisma, campaign skills and funeral home connections to win a congressional seat in 1974 representing Memphis.

Harold Ford Sr. was only 29, and at the time, and his election was "the biggest political victory in modern history for a black man in the Bluff City," author and journalist Otis Sanford wrote in his book, "From Boss Crump to King Willie."

The Ford family has seen its share of scandals. In 2007, for instance, John Ford, a former state senator and an uncle of Harold Ford Jr., was sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison in a corruption case. 2. He won his father's spot in Congress

By 1996, Harold Ford Sr. had been elected to Congress many times and was approaching retirement from the legislative body. He began touring the district with his then-25-year-old son, Harold Jr., who was a law student. ''If you like me, you're gonna love him,'' the elder Ford said at one point.

Sam Smith, Progressive Review, 2016 - EH Crump was only mayor of Memphis twice but he controlled the politics of his state for decades. Crump, like Earl Long of Louisiana, was rare among white southern politicians in that he actively organized and sought the support of black voters. One of Crump’s lieutenants, for example, was a black funeral director named Harold Ford, whose grandson of the same name Donald Trump is now considering for a post. The blues godfather, WC Handy, even wrote a song, the “EH Crump Blues”, that would be sung on street corners to garner crowds for rallies.

Notes Wikipedia – “Unlike most Southern Democrats of his era, Crump was not opposed to blacks voting; Memphis blacks were reliable Crump machine voters for the most part. The party often paid the poll taxes required by state law.” 

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