Dorothy Bowles Ford’s story is extraordinary, unlike anyone else’s. Some people like to make their own stories sound more exciting for everyone worldwide to enjoy. But not Bowles. She let time tell her story just as it happened. She let people think of her based on what they saw and learned about her.
Dorothy is well-known as the partner of former congressman Harold Eugene Ford Sr. Harold made history as the first African-American congressman to serve for 11 terms. He began his role as a leader in 1975 and continued his political career until 1977, representing Tennessee’s 9th congressional district. His successful political journey was made possible through the tireless efforts of Bowles, whose contributions are largely unrecognized to this day.
Dorothy would go ahead to guide her first son in the same light toward a career path in Politics. Today, his success today, however, remains the only reason why Bowles is remembered.
Many people believe that Dorothy Bowles Ford’s rise to fame was largely due to her relationship with Harold Ford Jr, a well-known financial managing director, analyst, author, and former US congressman. She is a community worker and humanitarian who has devoted her life to helping others. Her generous contributions to her local community have made a name for her. Although she may not be globally recognized, she’s still known as a virtuous woman who embodies the saying, “Behind every successful man, there’s a woman.”
|Name||Dorothy Bowles Ford|
|Year of birth||1949|
|Ex-spouse||Harold Eugene Ford Sr|
|Number of Children||3|
|Children||Harold Ford Jr, Newton Jake Ford, Sir Isaac Ford|
Dorothy Bowles Ford Biography
Dorothy Ford was born into a modest family in 1949, just as the world was seeing the end of the Second World War. She grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, where her parents instilled in her strong values and moral principles.
Despite facing the hardships of poverty and societal disregard for people of color, Dorothy didn’t let the challenging environment deter her from pursuing her high school education. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in a college in Memphis, but she was forced to drop out due to financial difficulties and family issues.
Dorothy hadn’t lived the life an average human would wish for despite her traumatic journey through the echoes of time and her untold struggle while coming of age. Her sense of empathy and pacifism wasn’t tarnished by trying times, instead, they served as fundamental reasons as to why she shouldn’t relent in extending help when needed. These were among the core principles that embroidered Dorothy into the woman she is today.
Dorothy Bowles Ford’s Marriage And Personal Life
Dorothy married Ford on February 10, 1969. By then, Ford had risen to a good level of recognition, moving from a man with lofty dreams to earning a seat in the Tennessee Senate. His involvement in politics sparked Dorothy’s interest in community service. The couple believed in the importance of altruism, viewing it as their unique way of serving their country.
Their marriage lasted successfully for over three decades before problems arose. The couple developed conflicting viewpoints which eventually led to misunderstandings, resulting in their divorce in 1999.
Before their separation, their marriage had been blessed with three children: Harold Jr, Newton Jake, and Sir Isaac.
After her separation, Dorothy chose a life out of the public eye. Meanwhile, Ford married Michelle Roberts, a former executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, in 1999. They had two children together, Andrew and Ava.
What Happened to Her Children?
Harold Jr., the eldest of Dorothy and Ford’s children, was born on May 11, 1970. He followed a similar career path as his father. After his father retired from Congress in 1997, Harold Jr. took over his position that same year, serving for a decade until his retirement in 2007. His success in following his father’s footsteps was due to his mother’s support and his father’s influential guidance.
In addition to his political career, Harold Jr. also explored other fields. He authored politically-inspired novels and served as a financial director at Morgan Stanley. Eventually, he climbed to the role of executive vice president and vice chairman of Corporate & Institutional Banking (C&IB) for PNC Bank in 2020. Furthermore, he served as a News Analyst for NBC and MSNBC, held the position of chairman at the Democratic Leadership Council, and worked as a practitioner at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.
Harold married Emily Threlkeld, the daughter of Tom Threlkeld and Deborah Beard, on February 26, 2008. Their union was blessed with two children: Georgia Walker Ford, born in December 2013, and Harold Eugene III, who arrived two years later in 2015.
Jake Newton, Dorothy and Ford’s second son, initially stood out from his siblings. Newton had his share of trouble with the law, including an arrest for marijuana possession, a jail sentence for violence, and driving while intoxicated. However, he later amended his ways and followed a corporate path, venturing into politics. Despite leveraging his family’s influence, Newton’s campaign was unsuccessful.
Dorothy’s third child, Sir Isaac Ford, was born in 1975. He is a businessman, and like his family, he is also a political enthusiast. In 2002, he ran for Mayor of Shelby County but was unsuccessful in his bid.
Who Was Harold Ford Sr.?
Harold Eugene Ford Sr. was a distinguished congressman who served in the Tennessee Senate for 22 years over 11 terms. He was born on May 20, 1945, in the Southside of Memphis.
Harold grew up on Horn Lake Road in the West Junction neighborhood of South Memphis. He was the eighth of fifteen children born to Newton Jackson Ford (1914–1986) and Vera (Davis) Ford (1915–1994), who were prominent members of the African-American community.
Notably, Harold was an Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member and a devoted Christian. He belonged to the Democratic political party in the US.
Dorothy Bowles Ford Career
Dorothy began her career as a coordinator of consumer and regulatory functions at Potomac Electric Power but resigned after marrying Ford to fully support her husband’s political career.
She was the backbone of her husband’s career, serving as a vital link between him and his constituents. On numerous occasions, Dorothy joined her husband at campaign events, delivering speeches and advocating for him to gather support for his political aspirations.
Her support wasn’t just limited to Harold Eugene Ford Sr. When her husband’s career fully took off, Dorothy shifted her attention to her sons. She nurtured them, setting herself as a role model and instilling them with solid moral values, just as her parents did for her. This played a crucial role in positively shaping her children’s lives.
She was also a decisive factor in the success of Ford Jr.’s political career, supporting him just as she had supported Ford Sr. She continued her support until her son was motivated enough to succeed in different aspects of life. Dorothy’s positive influence and altruism were pivotal in the success of the men in her life.
However, her benevolence didn’t end there. Following her failed marriage, Dorothy dedicated herself to helping those in need, particularly women. She raised funds to support the less privileged, cementing her legacy as a compassionate and selfless individual.