Born in Pennsylvania, the USA auto industry executive died at the age of 94 at his home in Bel Air, California. The visionary automotive stalwart passed away after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, according to an official statement by his family.
Auto industry icon Lee Iacocca, known best for developing the Ford Mustang and Pinto and yanking Chrysler Corp from the brink of bankruptcy in the 1980s, has died.
Born in Pennsylvania on October 15, 1924 to Italian immigrant parents, Iacocca would go on to become one of the most successful business tycoons in the USA automotive industry.
Iacocca was sacked from Ford after an eight-year tenure as president.
Iacocca climbed through the ranks at Ford and became known as the "Father of the Mustang", for helping launch the iconic sports auto.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued a press release regarding the passing of Lee Iacocca, saying "he was one of the great leaders of our company and the auto industry as a whole". He later went on to become the President of the company. Launched in April 1964 at the World's Fair, the Mustang became one of the bestselling cars ever, giving the Ford Motor Company a profit of $1.1 Billion over the next two years.
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After his time with Ford, Iacocca was hired as CEO of Chrysler.
Iacocca's legacy and contribution to not only the American automotive landscape but the way the world looks at cars can not be overstated.
Iacocca was also responsible for the company's line of "K-cars" - efficient and compact saloons based on design plans that had been earlier rejected by Ford. He was sacked in July 1978 by chairman Henry Ford II. He did so after going to Congress to request a loan guarantee.
Having headed two - Ford and Chrysler - of the "Big Three" automakers in Detroit, Lee Iacocca is easily one of the most important names in the automotive history books.
- After stepping down from Chrysler in 1992, Iacocca pursued entrepreneurial ventures including electric bicycles, casinos and a line of imported olive oil products.
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