Ernest G. Liebold

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Ernest Gustav Liebold (March 16, 1884 - March 4, 1956) was the private secretary to industrialist Henry Ford. Liebold was responsible for all of Ford’s personal business activities and acted as his spokesman to the press. He was one of the few individuals Henry Ford had absolute trust.

Early life

Ernest Liebold was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1884, his father being an immigrant from Germany. He attended public schools in Detroit and graduated from Gutchess College.[1] He began his career in banking, starting as a teller and eventually becoming president of the Highland State Park Bank. On March 17, 1910 he married Clara Reich.

Henry Ford asked Liebold in February 1911 to investigate Laphan Bank in his home town of Dearborn that he suspected was insolvent. Ford then asked Liebold to reorganize the bank and later to manage his financial affairs. By 1913 Liebold was Henry Ford's private secretary;[2] by 1918 he had power-of-attorney.[3]

The Dearborn Independent and anti-semitism

Ernest G. Liebold was strongly anti-semitic and helped in the purchase of The Dearborn Independent and its campaign against the Jews. Liebold was quoted as saying, "When we get through with the Jews, there won't be one of them who would dare raise his head in public."[4]

Liebold helped to organize a special detective agency, which was generously financed by Ford, to investigate promiant Jews and Gentile liberals thought to be crypto Jews. The detective agency was headquartered in New York under the direction of C. C Daniels a former lawyer for the Justice Department. Many of those employed were former Secret Service agents and White Russian exiles such as Boris Brasol. William Cameron who was editor of the Independent wrote most of the paper's articles while Liebold and his detectives provided the evidence of Jewish machinations. However even Cameron realized and admitted it was Liebold thru his efficiencies who ran the paper.[5]

Liebold was instrumental in providing an audience to Kurt Luedecke: an early Hitler emissary on a mission to obtain funding for the nascent National Socialist movement.[6]

Later years

In 1951 Liebold gave a lengthy interview on his association with Ford and his colleagues. Know as Reminiscences the sessions were recoded on audio-tape and transcribed later.[7]

Ernest Liebold died in Grosse Point Woods, Michigan on March 4, 1956 survived by his wife and eight children. He is buried in a local Lutheran cemetery.[8]


  1. Henry's Lieutenants, By Ford Richardson Bryan, page 169
  2. Henry's Lieutenants, By Ford Richardson Bryan, page 170
  3. American Jewish History: A eight-vol. series, edited by Jeffrey S. Gurock, page 444
  4. The Hanover Historical Review (1999), "Henry Ford and His War on Jews", by Jonathan R. Logsdon
  5. The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century, By Steven Watts, page 388
  6. The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century, By Steven Watts, page 389
  7. Henry Ford and the Jews, by Neil Baldwin, page 356
  8. Henry's Lieutenants, By Ford Richardson Bryan, page 174

See alos