He was granted the loans because it was felt that if a major corporation like Chrysler failed, thousands upon thousands of Chrysler employees would lose their jobs and the ripple effect of a company that big closing down could cause possibly hundreds of thousands more job losses it was also noted that it could be used politically to hammer the Carter administration by the Republicans in the elections. Lee used the money to develop the K-cars. Many auto enthusiasts believe that the fact that Iacocca could convince the public to buy those poorly made, underpowered and underwhelming cars is a testimony to what a great salesman he really is. Satisfied the Ford Thunderbird no longer needed a sporting image, Lee was looking for a replacement for the Thunderbird convertible. Though often called "The Father of the Mustang", his role was more supportive.
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Iacocca grew up in comfortable surroundings learning the nuts and bolts of business from his father who worked as a cobbler, hot dog restaurant owner and a theater owner. Nicola was a businessman who taught his son about the responsibilities of money and the need for a strong drive and a great vision in order to build a thriving business.
Nicola also ran one of the first car rental agencies in the country and passed on his love of the automobile to his son. Even as a teenager, Iacocca decided that he was going to be an automobile company executive and focused his studies in that direction. Of Iacocca, it has been said that he was always selling, whether products, ideas—or himself. Though bitter at being dismissed from Ford, Iacocca was not out of the car business for long. Five months after his dismissal, Iacocca was named president of Chrysler becoming chairman in and began transforming the number three automaker from a sluggish moneymaker into a highly profitable business.
How was Chrysler turned around? In addition, Chrysler welcomed, for the first time in U. In the early s Chrysler issued the K-car and what would later become its best seller—the minivan. Just as the Mustang reestablished the sports car for Ford, the minivan would be loved by the young family in need of room and efficiency and revitalize Chrysler.
In Chrysler paid the government back its loans and Iacocca became a star, a symbol of success and the achievement of the American dream. While Iacocca gained a worldwide reputation through business leadership, television commercials, and association with the Statue of Liberty, he gained much additional exposure through his autobiography a book written by someone about their life. Iacocca: An Autobiography, the best-selling nonfiction hardcover book in history, had two million copies in print by July Folk hero By the mids Iacocca had achieved folk-hero status.
The late s and early s were not as kind to Iacocca. In addition, Iacocca, criticized Japanese trading practices, blaming them for the ills that American car manufacturers had suffered. Critics stated that the American public believed that Japanese cars were superior Lee Iacocca. At the end of , Iacocca retired. Mary died of diabetes a blood disorder in , and in her memory, Iacocca donated his book earnings to diabetes research.
Two later marriages, to advertising executive Peggy Johnson and restaurateur Darrien Earle , ended in divorce. In Iacocca announced his latest venture, E-bikes. Iacocca believes these electronically motorized bikes will take the place of mopeds and other loud and polluting vehicles in crowded urban areas.
For More Information Abodaher, David. New York: Macmillan, Haddock, Patricia. Minneapolis: Dillon Press, Iacocca, Lee. Iacocca: An Autobiography. New York: Bantam Books, Iacocca, Lee A. Talking Straight. New York: Bantam, Levin, Doron P. New York: Harcourt Brace, Wyden, Peter.
The Unknown Iacocca. New York: Morrow, User Contributions: Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: Name:.
Lee Iacocca Biography
Original: Apr 2, American auto executive Lee Iacocca became a national celebrity for steering the Chrysler Corporation away from bankruptcy toward record profits in the s. He rose rapidly, becoming president of Ford in Within a few years Chrysler was showing record profits, and Iacocca was a national celebrity. He left Chrysler in but returned for an ad campaign in 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.
After graduating from Lehigh, he won the Wallace Memorial Fellowship and went to Princeton University , where he took his electives in politics and plastics. He then began a career at the Ford Motor Company as an engineer. Career at Ford[ edit ] Iacocca was instrumental in the introduction of the Ford Mustang. Pictured here is a Mustang convertible. Iacocca joined Ford Motor Company in August
He notably secured the largest amount of federal financial assistance ever given to a private corporation at that time. Iacocca was the son of an Italian immigrant. Hired as an engineer by the Ford Motor Company , he quickly proved that he was better suited for sales. By he had become general manager of the Ford division and a vice president of the company. He was named president of Ford in , but his brash, unorthodox manner led to his dismissal in Lee Iacocca with the 45th-anniversary edition of the Ford Mustang.
Lee Iacocca Biografía | Vida y Carrera