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William F. Ford

  • President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1980–1983

William F. Ford was the eleventh president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta from August 1, 1980, to October 1, 1983.

Ford was born in Huntington, New York. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas in 1961 and his master's degree (1962) and PhD (1966) in economics from the University of Michigan.1

Ford served on the faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia. He was also a staff member and consultant to the RAND Corporation. He served as chief economist of the American Bankers Association. In 1975, he became a vice president of Wells Fargo. In 1976, he headed that bank’s planning department and a year later was named senior vice president and chief economist.2

Ford succeeded Monroe Kimbrel as the Atlanta Fed’s president in 1980.2 During his presidency, the Federal Reserve faced many challenges. One was a battle with double-digit inflation that caused considerable damage to the economy. Following the Fed’s aggressive monetary policy action, inflation was brought down, but the economy experienced a recession in the early 1980s marked by double-digit unemployment. The Bank also went through a major operational transition with the passing of the Monetary Control Act of 1980. Ford was tasked with guiding the Atlanta Fed through the recession and the deregulatory changes to the financial system.3

Ford resigned on October 1, 1983, to become president of First Nationwide Financial Corp.4


Written by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as of November 2013 and updated by Ella Needler and Genevieve Podleski as of July 2022. See disclaimer and update policy.