Interesting Factoids about Lee Iacocca
He saved Chrysler and changed the automotive world with his influence and innovative zeal and that's why we know the name Lee Iacocca here in Bentonville , AR very well. Automobile industry executive, national celebrity and best-selling author Lee Iacocca is one of America’s best known and admired businessmen, so here are some facts about the man, his life and his achievements, offered by Bob Morey's Auto Body .
Lido Anthony Iacocca was born on October 15, 1924, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His parents, Nicola Iacocca, an entrepreneur and restaurant owner, and Antoinette Perrotto immigrated to the United States from Italy. He graduated an engineering degree from Lehigh University and a master's degree from Princeton University.
Iacocca began working as an engineer at Ford Motor Company in 1946. While there, the business icon introduced the affordable and stylish Mustang sports car to the market in 1964. Iacocca served as president from 1970 until he was fired in 1978. The following year, he became CEO of the Chrysler Corp., which was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Iacocca helped turn the corporation around and in 1984 Chrysler made a record $2.4 billion. This success helped Iacocca become a national celebrity. As a spokesperson in television ads, he promised anyone who test drove a Chrysler $50 if they purchased a competitor’s vehicle. He retired in 1992.
In November 1995, Iacocca filed a lawsuit against Chrysler for illegally preventing him to exercise his stock options. Chrysler filed a lawsuit against Iacocca the following month. It alleged that he gave Kirk Kerkorian, who tried taking over the company, confidential information. The lawsuits were settled in 1996.
Iacocca married Mary McCleary in 1956 and they had two children: Kathryn and Lia. They were married 27 years before she died due to complications from diabetes. After she had passed away, Iacocca established the Iacocca Family Foundation in 1984 to raise money for diabetes research. He later had two brief marriages that ended in divorce.
Factoids about Iacocca:
- Iacocca starred in Chrysler television commercials that featured the famous line, "If you can find a better car, buy it."
- He was featured on the cover of Time magazine three times.
- In the mid-1980s, there was talk of Iacocca running for the U.S. presidency.
- Two books written by Iacocca, the 1984 autobiography Iacocca and Talking Straight (1988), became best-sellers.
- President Ronald Reagan asked Iacocca to help coordinate fundraising efforts for the restoration of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
- In the mid-1980s, Iacocca was described as "the living embodiment of the American dream” by Reader's Digest.
- In 2005, Iacocca appeared in Chrysler ads with Jason Alexander and Snoop Dogg.
- The Iacocca Family Foundation has funded more than $40 million in research projects.
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Sources: CNN, notablebiographies.com and biography.com