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CNN Business reports:

By Rob McLean,

New York (CNN Business)Auto industry icon Lee Iacocca, once one of America's highest profile business executives and credited with rescuing Chrysler from near-bankruptcy in the 1980s, has died. He was 94.

He was instrumental in the creation of the Ford Mustang and the Chrysler minivan.
Iacocca's youngest daughter confirmed he passed away of natural causes Tuesday. He is survived by two daughters and eight grandchildren.

Born Lido Anthony Iacocca in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on October 15, 1924, to Italian immigrant parents, he would go on to lead two major American car companies.
Iacocca started working at Ford Motor Company in 1946, and was a major figure in the development of the Ford Mustang — the first vehicle of its kind. He was named president of Ford in 1970, but was fired by Henry Ford Jr. in 1978.
"I began my life as the son of immigrants, and I worked my way up to the presidency of the Ford Motor Company," Iacocca wrote in his 1984 autobiography. "When I finally got there, I was on top of the world. But then fate said to me: 'Wait. We're not finished with you. Now you're going to find out what it feels like to get kicked off Mt. Everest!'"
He was then hired by Chrysler Corp. in 1978 and became the company's CEO in 1979. He is credited with saving the company from bankruptcy.
Iacocca urged Congress to authorize the Treasury Department to guarantee $1.5 billion in bank loans for Chrysler. Chrysler needed the bailout to survive back to back recessions in the early 1980s. Chrysler repaid the loans early. Treasury made money on the stock it received as part of bailout packages.
With the help of more fuel efficient and competitive products such as the so-called K-cars — which included the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant — Chrysler became strong and profitable again.
Iacocca led Chrysler during an era in which Asian and European imports first started to take a significant share of the US automakers' portion of the American car market.

The American consumer may remember him best from a series of Chrysler TV commercials, in which he said, "if you can find a better car, buy it."
He retired from Chrysler in 1992. In 1995, Iacocca sued the company accusing it of illegally preventing him from exercising stock options. Chrysler then filed suit against him, saying he gave confidential information to Kirk Kerkorian — who tried to take over the company.
Chrysler and Iacocca settled their lawsuits in 1996.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement that it was saddened by the news of Iacocca's passing.
"He played a historic role in steering Chrysler through crisis and making it a true competitive force," FCA said in a statement. "He was one of the great leaders of our company and the auto industry as a whole. He also played a profound and tireless role on the national stage as a business statesman and philanthropist."
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, said Iacocca was "truly bigger than life and he left an indelible mark on Ford."
Ford said he appreciated Iacocca's encouragement during Ford's early career. "He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed."
Iacocca was from another era of American business. In his autobiography Iacocca explains why he adopted the name Lee in place of his Italian birth name Lido. It was the 1950s and he was traveling throughout the East Coast teaching Ford employees how to sell trucks.
"As part of my job, I had to make a lot of long-distance calls," he said in his autobiography. "In those days, there was no direct dialing, so that you always had to go through an operator. They'd ask for my name, and I'd say 'Iacocca." Of course, they had no idea how to spell it, so there was always a struggle to get that right. Then they'd ask for my first name and when I said 'Lido,' they'd break out laughing. Finally I said to myself: 'Who needs it?' and I started calling myself Lee."

Dave Alsup, Chris Isidore and Peter Valdes-Dapena contributed to this report.
 

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Another icon of the automotive and business world passes. Lived a long life.

20160101_092853.jpg

This may not be the place to mention this but I still drive my 1965 Ford mustang and enjoy it , almost as much as my C7 . My Mustang was built in San Jose in December of 1964 and to this day uses the same drive train it was married to in November of 64. Even more impressive is that it always starts right up without issue.
 

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Another icon of the automotive and business world passes. Lived a long life.

20160101_092853.jpg

This may not be the place to mention this but I still drive my 1965 Ford mustang and enjoy it , almost as much as my C7 . My Mustang was built in San Jose in December of 1964 and to this day uses the same drive train it was married to in November of 64. Even more impressive is that it always starts right up without issue.
15Snow-ray, your stang looks just like the one a friend of mine had while we were in High School. Same white with red interior. It was actually his mother's car and I can't tell you how many times we had all 4 wheels in the air with either him or me driving it. That car took a beating and while I lost touch with him over the years, last time we talked, his mother still had it.
 

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15Snow-ray, your stang looks just like the one a friend of mine had while we were in High School. Same white with red interior. It was actually his mother's car and I can't tell you how many times we had all 4 wheels in the air with either him or me driving it. That car took a beating and while I lost touch with him over the years, last time we talked, his mother still had it.
Pretty iconic color from the "day" Wimbledon White and Bright red interior.. And yes I hear that a lot that the color was popular with woman who had the car when they were "younger".
They sold a bunch of them as it turned out Mr. Iaccoca was on to something.
 

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I'm in Detroit visiting my godmother who was the admin for the President of Chrysler.... right across the aisle from Iaccoca's office. I lot of memories for her!
 

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I also grew up with a Wimbledon White with Red interior '65 Mustang hardtop, but my dad got a six cylinder automatic. We razzed him for weeks about it but it didn't make it any faster. However. we did get particularly good service from the local Ford dealer. My dad was a journalist and at one time ran Fortune magazine, so he got to know a lot of businessmen including Henry Ford II. So he actually had an 8x10 photograph of him and Henry Ford at a cocktail party, both obviously pretty far gone, laughing and backslapping, sitting on a couch with a coffee table in front full of empty wine and whiskey glasses. When it was time for the regular servicings he always left it in the glove compartment on top of the service booklet in which the techs had to note regular maintenance on the car. -- Bob
 
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