February 19, 1970
Edsel Ford, a native of Alabama who spent most of his life in the Ozark hills, died following exploratory surgery that revealed a large brain tumor. Ford’s family had a chicken farm in Avoca (Benton County). He was educated in public schools in Rogers (Washington County) and at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (Washington County), where he won the Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas award. After military service and a period of working for a petroleum company, Ford tried making a living from poetry but found it difficult and returned to his family’s farm. He edited a poetry column and published some of his own works. At the time of his death, he was beginning to earn national literary attention.