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. He became something of a celebrity thanks to his appearance in ad campaigns, most notably the Chrysler campaign where he told Americans that "If you can find a better auto, buy it".
Lee Iacocca, who was admired for his bold and imaginative leadership qualities, extensively spoke on the significance of leadership on many occasions.
"He played a historic role in steering Chrysler through crisis and making it a true competitive force". "We are committed to ensuring that Chrysler, now FCA, is such a company, an example of commitment and respect, known for excellence as well as for its contribution to society".
Born Lido Anthony Iacocca on October 15, 1924 to Italian immigrant parents, he went on to get a master's degree in engineering from Princeton University in 1946.
The Ford Mustang, an iconic vehicle in American popular culture, was also a best-seller from the start, with Ford selling tens of thousands of the model on just the first day of its release 55 years ago in April.
During his time as CEO, he assumed a more public role, appearing in a series of brutally honest commercials that admitted the company's past struggles, but promised future success. Mr Iacocca famously accepted a salary of just $1 a year while the company was recovering. He paid off the loans seven years early.
But the sheen started to fade at the end of the decade, when the company once again took a downturn, and thousands of workers were laid off.
In one 1984 ad, Iacocca said Chrysler had been "kicked in the head", referring to the automaker's near financial collapse.