Auto Exec Lee Iacocca Dead At 94

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Lee Iacocca (Ford Motor Co. photo)
Lee Iacocca (Ford Motor Co. photo)

Legendary automotive executive Lee Iacocca died July 2. He was 94.

Born Lido Anthony Iacocca, his work in developing the Ford Mustang helped him rise to become president of Ford Motor Co. in 1970.

Iacocca later was fired by the company and went to work for Chrysler, where he helped turn the struggling auto giant in a successful direction.

Iacocca has been widely credited as being the father of the Ford Mustang, but his work in helping create Chrysler’s popular K-Car models was the force that drove the company’s recovery.

He was also well known for Chrysler’s famous tag line, “If you can find a better car, buy it.”

Both Chrysler and Ford recognized Iacocca upon his death.

“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,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement. “He was one of the great leaders of our company and the auto industry as a whole. He also played a profound and tireless role on the national stage as a business statesman and philanthropist.”

“Lee Iacocca was truly bigger than life and he left an indelible mark on Ford, the auto industry and our country,” said Bill Ford, Ford Motor Co. executive chairman in a statement. “Lee played a central role in the creation of the 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.”