BEL AIR—Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler died at the age of 94 on Tuesday, July 2 at his home in Bel Air, California. Iacocca was born with the name Lido Anthony Iacocca in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on October 15, 1924.
He started working at Ford Motor Company in 1946. Prior to working with Chrysler, lacocca worked with Ford Motor Company and created the Ford Mustang, Ford Pinto, the Continental III, Ford Escort, Mercury Cougar and Mercury Marquise amongst other vehicles.
He became CEO of Chrysler in 1978 and retired in 1992. He is known for helping Chrysler get out of debt, and prevented Chrysler from going out of business. He was fired from the company after clashing with Henry Ford II.
Fiat Chrysler Automobile released a statement responding to the passing of Iacocaa:
“The Company is saddened by the news of Lee Iacocca’s passing. He played a historic role in steering Chrysler through crisis and making it a true competitive force. Lee gave us a mindset that still drives us today – one that is characterized by hard work, dedication and grit.”
“Lee Iacocca was truly bigger than life and he left an indelible mark on Ford, the auto industry and our country. Lee played a central role in the creation of Mustang. On a personal note, I will always appreciate how encouraging he was to me at the beginning of my career. He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed,” said Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor company via Twitter.
Iacocca is known for his infamous TV pitch line “If you can find a better car, buy it.” Iacocca wrote several books during his career including an autobiography. He founded Olivio Premium Products in 1993.
He was married three times first to Mary Iococca where they had two daughters. Mary died from complications she sustained from Type I Diabetes in 1983. He later married Mary Johnson in 1986, but had the marriage annulled a year later. He married Darrien Earle in 1991, but the couple later divorced 3 years later. According to reports, Iococca’s passing is the result of complications he suffered from Parkinson’s Disease.
Written By Tameara Lewis and Casey Jacobs