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    Lido Anthony "Lee" Iacocca (/ ˌ aɪ. ə ˈ k oʊ k ə / EYE-ə-KOH-kə; October 15, 1924 – July 2, 2019) was an American automobile executive best known for the development of the Ford Mustang and Ford Pinto cars while at the Ford Motor Company in the 1960s, and for reviving the Chrysler Corporation as its CEO during the 1980s.

    • 1946–1992
    • Businessman, Former Chrysler chairman, Former Ford president
    • Who Was Lee Iacocca?
    • Early Life
    • Climbing The Ranks at Ford and The Mustang
    • Chrysler Leader
    • Life After Chrysler
    • Spouses and Family

    Lee Iacocca joined the Ford Motor Company in 1946. He rose rapidly, becoming president of Ford in 1970. Though Henry Ford II fired Iacocca in 1978, he was soon hired by the nearly bankrupt Chrysler Corporation. Within a few years Chrysler was showing record profits, and Iacocca was a national celebrity. He left Chrysler in 1992 but returned for an ad campaign in 2005.

    Lido Anthony Iacocca, generally known as Lee Iacocca, was born to Italian immigrants Nicola and Antonietta in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on October 15, 1924. Iacocca suffered a serious bout of rheumatic fever as a child, and as a result he was found medically unfit for military service in World War II. During the war, he attended Lehigh University as an undergraduate. He then received a master's degree in engineering from Princeton University.

    Iacocca's engineering degree landed him a job at the Ford Motor Company in 1946. He soon left engineering for sales, where he excelled, then worked in product development. Iacocca also moved up the ranks at Ford, becoming a vice president and general manager of the Ford division by 1960. One of Iacocca’s accomplishments was helping to bring the iconic Mustang — an affordable, stylish sports car — to the market in 1964. In 1970, Iacocca became Ford's president. However, the straight-talking Iacocca clashed with Henry Ford II, scion of the Ford family and chairman of the auto company. The tense relationship between the two led to Ford firing Iacocca in 1978.

    A few months after leaving Ford, Iacocca was hired to head the Chrysler Corporation, which was then in such financial distress that it was in danger of bankruptcy. Under Iacocca's leadership, Chrysler received $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees; at the time, it was the largest amount of government assistance that a private company had ever received. This gave Iacocca the breathing room he needed to revamp and streamline operations. During Iacocca’s tenure, the popular minivan was added to the Chrysler vehicle lineup. Iacocca also served as a spokesman in television ads, promising anyone who test drove a Chrysler $50 if they ended up buying a similar car from a competitor. The company edged into profitability in 1981 and repaid its government loans in 1983, years ahead of schedule. In 1984, Chrysler made more than $2.4 billion, a record for the corporation. Iacocca's success in turning Chrysler around made him a national celebrity. President Ronald Reagan asked him to help coord...

    Iacocca retired from Chrysler in 1992. He was then able to devote more time to the Iacocca Family Foundation, a charity that supports diabetes research (Iacocca's first wife, Mary, suffered from diabetes and died from complications related to the disease). Iacocca also worked with Kirk Kerkorian on an attempted hostile takeover of Chrysler in the mid-1990s. Despite the thwarted takeover attempt, Iacocca resumed his role as a Chrysler pitchman in 2005, appearing in ads with Jason Alexander and Snoop Dogg. Iacocca's compensation for the commercials was sent to his foundation. He remained a booster for the U.S. car industry, though his frustration with both public and private leadership was the subject of his third book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone?(2007).

    After losing his first wife in 1983, Iacocca married Peggy Johnson from 1986 to 1987. He had another short-lived marriage to Darrien Earle from 1991 to 1994. In his later years, he enjoyed spending time with his two daughters, Kathryn and Lia, from his first marriage and his grandchildren. Iacocca died on July 2, 2019, in Bel Air, California.

  2. Lee Iacocca, American automobile executive who was president (1978–92) and chairman of the board (1979–92) of Chrysler Corporation, credited with reviving the foundering company. He notably secured the largest amount of federal assistance ever given to a private corporation at that time. Learn more about his career.

    • “So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. ― Lee Iacocca.
    • “In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.” ― Lee Iacocca.
    • “My father always used. to say that when you die, if you've got five real friends, then you've had a great life. ” ― Lee Iacocca.
    • “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” ― Lee Iacocca.
  3. Jul 02, 2019 · Auto industry icon Lee Iacocca, once one of America's highest profile business executives and credited with rescuing Chrysler from near-bankruptcy in the 1980s, has died. He was 94.

  4. Jan 27, 2010 · Henry Ford II fires Lee Iacocca. On July 13, 1978, Ford Motor Company chairman Henry Ford II fires Lee Iacocca as Ford’s president, ending years of tension between the two men. Born to an ...

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