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Images courtesy of Ford and Chrysler Motor Corporations

In 1980, after years of struggles dealing with foreign competition, recessions, the energy crises, etc… Chrysler was in jeopardy of falling into bankruptcy. Lee Iacocca stepped in as CEO in 1979 and began a streamlining process that ended with $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees, which at the time was the largest rescue package ever granted by the U.S. government to an American corporation. Lee Iacocca saved Chrysler, in what Bloomberg News said may have been his crowning achievement.

Lee Iacocca, who passed away July 2, 2019 at age 94, lived a life full of crowning achievements. His life has filled books. In this brief memoriam, I hope to pass on a few facts and memories to pay tribute an American business giant.

Lee Iacocca was born Lido Anthony Iacocca in Allentown, Pennsylvania on October 15, 1924 (Incidentally, Allentown has been home to such legends as Mario Andretti, Larry Holmes, Matt Millen, Larry Sieple (that one’s for me), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Jayne Mansfield). His parents, Nicola and Antoinette, immigrated to The United States from Italy and supported their kids by helping run a family business called Yocco’s Hot Dogs. Lee Iacocca excelled in school, graduating with honors from Allentown High School in 1942. From there he stayed local and attended Lehigh University and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. After finishing his studies with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Princeton University, Mr. Iacocca went to work at Ford Motor Company as an engineering trainee in 1946.

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Drive October 2019, IACOCCA : A Carrer of making History, Grand Opening : Lions Drag Strip Museum, 18 Awesome products in the all-new Drive ! And More....