Lee Iacocca Bio, Age, Net Worth, Spouse, Book, Health, Quotes, Delorean

Lee Iacocca Biography

Lee Iacocca (Lido Anthony Iacocca) is an American automobile executive and author. He is famously known for the development of Ford Mustang and Pinto cars. He worked at the Ford Motor Company in the 1960s. Later on, he moved to Chrysler Corporation as its CEO during the 1980s. During this time he helped revive the Chrysler company that was falling.

Early Career And Education

He served as President and CEO of Chrysler from 1978. Additionally, he served as chairman from 1979, until his retirement at the end of 1992. Lee Iacocca joined Ford Motor Company in August 1946. After a brief stint in engineering, he asked to be moved to sales and marketing. His career started flourishing at the sales department.

He graduated from LeHigh University with a degree in Industrial Engineering. Later on, he went on to earn a degree from Princeton University as a Wallace Memorial Fellow. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, and an alumnus of Theta Chi Fraternity.

At Ford

He gained national recognition with his “56 for ’56” campaign. His campaign went national. He was called to the Dearborn headquarters, where he quickly moved up through the ranks. On November 10, 1960 Lee Iacocca was named vice-president and general manager of the Ford Division on 10th November, 1960.

Five years later Lee Iacocca was promoted to become Ford’s vice-president. He rose through the ranks to become president on 10th December, 1970. He participated in the design of several successful Ford automobiles. Most notably the Ford Mustang, the Continental Mark III, the Ford Escort and the revival of the Mercury brand in the late 1960s.

Lee Iacocca Photo
Lee Iacocca Photo

Through his efforts the company also introduced the Mercury Cougar and Mercury Marquis. He promoted other ideas which did not reach the marketplace as Ford products. These included cars ultimately introduced by Chrysler – the K car and the minivan. He clashed with Henry Ford II. He was fired on 13th July 1978. At the time of his sacking, the company posted a $2 billion profit for the year.

At Chrysler

Chrysler Corporation strongly courted Lee Iacocca. At that time the company appeared to be on the verge of going out of business. It had just sold its loss-making Chrysler Europe division to Peugeot in an effort to generate cash. The company was already losing millions in North America.

Lee Iacocca joined Chrysler and began rebuilding the entire company from the ground up and bringing in many former associates from his former company. Also from Ford, Iacocca brought to Chrysler the “Mini-Max” project, which, in 1983, bore fruit in the highly successful Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager.

Chrysler Bail Out

Realizing that the company would go out of business if it did not receive a large infusion of cash, Lee Iacocca approached the United States Congress in 1979 and successfully requested a loan guarantee. In order to obtain the guarantee, Chrysler was required to reduce costs and abandon some longstanding projects, such as the turbine engine.

Chrysler released the first of the K-Car line, the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant, in 1981. Because of the K-cars and minivans, along with the reforms Iacocca implemented, the company turned around quickly. It was able to repay the government-backed loans seven years earlier than expected.

Throughout the 1980s, Lee Iacocca appeared in a series of commercials for the company’s vehicles, employing the ad campaign, “The pride is back,” to denote the turnaround of the corporation. He also voiced what was to become his trademark phrase: “If you can find a better car, buy it.”


Lee Iacocca retired as president, CEO and chairman of Chrysler at the end of 1992. In July 2005, Iacocca returned to the airwaves as Chrysler’s pitchman, along with other celebrities. In return for his services, Iacocca and DaimlerChrysler agreed that his fees, plus a $1 donation per vehicle sold from July 1 through December 31, 2005, would be donated to the Iacocca Foundation for diabetes research.

How Old Is Lee Iacocca | Lee Iacocca Age

Lee Iacocca was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States of Amerca. He was born on 15th October, 1924. He is 94 year old as of 2018.

Lee Iacocca Net Worth

Lee Iacocca has served in great positions for very many decades. Being president of great motor vehicle companies is a no mean achievement. He is an established businessman who strongly believes in doing more and talking less. He has an approximated net worth of more than $100 million.

Lee Iacocca Family

Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Iacocca is the son of Italian immigrants Nicola and Antoinette. He grew up in comfortable surroundings learning the nuts and bolts of business from his father. His father 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

Lee Iacocca Grandchildren | Lee Iacocca Spouse

The business magnate has not had all roses when it comes to his love life. Lee Iacocca got married to his first wife, Mary McCleary, on 29th September, 1956. They had two daughters: Kathryn and Lia. On 15th May, 1983, Maru succumbed to diabetes. Before her death, Iacocca became a strong advocate for better medical treatment of diabetes patients. He has continued this fight even after her death.

Three years after his first blow, he married his second wife, Peggy Johnson. They married on 17th April, 1986. Nineteen months after their wedding, their marriage was annulled in 1987. He got married for the third time in 1991 to Darrien Earle. They were divorced three years later. There has not been any news about his dating or marriage from that that time to date.

Lee Iacocca Delorean

Lee Iacocca was a Ford executive who led the development of the Ford Mustang. However, he is also remembered for the catastrophe that is the Ford Pinto.

He insisted that the driving goals of the designers of this car be that it weigh less than 2000 pounds, and cost less than $2000 (In 1968 dollars). Due to these pressures, the structural design was not sound, and had a serious problem that caused many deadly fires due to the fuel tank puncturing in accidents. Iacocca neglected to fix these problems in testing due to his relentless pursuit of a low-weight, low-cost vehicle.

Here, the joke is that the Delorean from Back to the Future, with its trademark post-time hop fire trail resembles the deadly characteristics of the fire-prone Pinto.

Lee Iacocca Book

  • 1984: Iacocca: An Autobiography
  • 1988: Iacocca 2 – Hablando Claro
  • 2007: Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Lee Iacocca Quotes

  • “Get all the education you can, but then by God, do something. Don’t just stand there, make it happen.” Lee Iacocca
  • “Start with good people.” Lee Iacocca
  • “In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.”
  • “You can have brilliant ideas but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” Lee Iacocca
  • “Something useful is always born out of happiness.”
  • “Being honest is the best technique.” Lee Iacocca
  • “Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people.”
  • “The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.” Lee Iacocca
  • “As you go through life, there are thousands of little forks in the road, and there are a few really big forks – those moments of reckoning, moments of truth.” Lee Iacocca
  • “In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less because passing civilization along from generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have.” Lee Iacocca
  • “I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.” Lee Iacocca
  • “How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.” Lee Iacocca
  • “So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t just sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”
  • “I have to act to live.” Lee Iacocca
  • “No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity. If you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished.” Lee Iacocca
  • “Management is nothing more than motivating other people.” Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca Health

Iaccoca is currently in good health. His enlistment in the military during World War II (19139–45) was denied because of his childhood battle with rheumatic fever, a terrible disease that can cause permanent damage to the heart.