Speed Reads


Auto industry icon Lee Iacocca dies at 94

Lee Iacocca, the auto industry leader known for helping develop the Ford Mustang in 1964 and rescuing Chrysler in the 1980s, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 94.

The son of Italian immigrants, Lido Anthony Iacocca was born Oct. 15, 1924, in Pennsylvania. After graduating from Lehigh University, Iacocca began working at the Ford Motor Company in 1946, and made history when he helped create the Mustang; Ford sold a record 418,812 Mustangs during the model's first year. He became president of Ford in 1970, before being fired by Henry Ford II in 1978.

He took over Chrysler while it was on the brink of bankruptcy, and turned the company around. With Iacocca at the helm, Chrysler introduced the minivan, and he appeared in the company's commercials, saying, "If you can find a better car, buy it." Also a best-selling author, Iacocca was approached several times and asked if he would consider running for president or senator, but always said he was too blunt for politics. He is survived by two daughters and eight grandchildren.