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Thomas Rogers

The Life and Times of Lee Iacocca: A Free Pdf Biography of the Man Who Saved Chrysler

Lee Iacocca Biografia Pdf Free: The Life and Legacy of a Legendary Auto Executive

If you are interested in the history of the American automobile industry, you have probably heard of Lee Iacocca. He was one of the most influential and charismatic leaders in the business, who rose from humble beginnings to become the president of Ford and later the chairman of Chrysler. He was responsible for some of the most iconic cars in history, such as the Ford Mustang, the Chrysler minivan, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. He also saved Chrysler from bankruptcy in the 1980s, with the help of a controversial government loan. He wrote several best-selling books about his life and career, including his autobiography, which was published in 1984 and sold over 7 million copies worldwide. In this article, we will explore the life and legacy of Lee Iacocca, and how you can download his biography for free in PDF format.

Lee Iacocca Biografia Pdf Free


Who was Lee Iacocca?

Lee Iacocca was born on October 15, 1924, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His parents were Italian immigrants who ran a hot dog restaurant. His full name was Lido Anthony Iacocca, but he preferred to be called Lee. He had a passion for cars since he was a child, and he dreamed of becoming an engineer. He was also a smart and hard-working student, who excelled in math and science.

Why is he famous?

Lee Iacocca became famous for his achievements as an auto executive at Ford and Chrysler. He was known for his vision, innovation, marketing skills, and charisma. He introduced some of the most popular and profitable cars in history, such as the Mustang, the Escort, the Fiesta, the minivan, and the Jeep. He also led Chrysler's recovery from near-collapse in the 1980s, by securing a $1.5 billion loan from the US government and launching a series of successful products and campaigns. He became a national hero and a celebrity, appearing on magazine covers, TV shows, and commercials. He was also admired for his outspokenness, honesty, and patriotism.

What are his achievements?

Lee Iacocca's achievements are numerous and impressive. Here are some of them:

  • He was named one of the 10 greatest CEOs of all time by Fortune magazine in 2005.

  • He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1994.

  • He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

  • He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Lehigh University, his alma mater, in 1982.

  • He donated millions of dollars to various causes, such as diabetes research, education, arts, and culture.

  • He spearheaded the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the 1980s.

  • He wrote four books that became best-sellers, including his autobiography, Iacocca: An Autobiography, which was co-written by William Novak and published in 1984.

Early Life and Education

Childhood and family background

Lee Iacocca was born in a working-class neighborhood in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His father, Nicola Iacocca, was a cobbler who emigrated from Italy in 1902. His mother, Antoinette Perrotta, was a seamstress who came from Italy in 1913. They met and married in Allentown, and had two sons, Lee and his older brother, Hugo. Lee's parents were hard-working and entrepreneurial, who ran a hot dog restaurant called Yocco's, which is still in operation today. Lee's father also dabbled in various businesses, such as real estate, car rental, and olive oil import. Lee learned a lot from his father's example, such as the value of money, the importance of customer service, and the art of negotiation.

College and engineering career

Lee Iacocca graduated from Allentown High School in 1942, and enrolled at Lehigh University, where he studied industrial engineering. He was a bright and ambitious student, who participated in various extracurricular activities, such as the student newspaper, the debate team, and the honor society. He graduated with honors in 1945, and was offered a scholarship to pursue a master's degree at Princeton University. However, he decided to join the workforce instead, and applied for a job at Ford Motor Company. He was hired as an engineer in 1946, and moved to Dearborn, Michigan.

Rise to Fame at Ford

The Mustang and the Falcon

Lee Iacocca soon realized that he was more interested in sales and marketing than engineering. He asked for a transfer to the sales department, and proved to be a natural salesman. He rose through the ranks quickly, and became the district sales manager of Philadelphia in 1956. He came up with innovative ideas to boost sales, such as the "56 for 56" campaign, which offered customers a 1956 Ford for $56 a month. He also developed a reputation for being a risk-taker, a problem-solver, and a team player. He caught the attention of Robert McNamara, the head of Ford's car division, who promoted him to assistant general manager in 1960.

In his new role, Iacocca was responsible for developing new products that would appeal to the growing market of young and affluent buyers. He saw an opportunity to create a new kind of car that would combine style, performance, and affordability. He envisioned a sporty coupe that would seat four people, have a long hood and a short rear deck, and cost less than $2,500. He called it the Mustang, after the World War II fighter plane. He assembled a team of engineers and designers to work on the project, using the chassis of the Falcon, a compact car that Iacocca had also launched in 1960. The Mustang was ready in 18 months, and made its debut at the New York World's Fair on April 17, 1964. It was an instant hit with the public, who lined up to buy it. It sold over 400,000 units in its first year, breaking all records. It also created a new segment of cars called "pony cars", which inspired competitors such as the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird. The Mustang became Iacocca's signature product, and earned him the nickname "the father of the Mustang".

The Pinto and the controversy

In the late 1960s, Iacocca faced a new challenge: the rise of Japanese imports that offered small and fuel-efficient cars at low prices. He decided to counter them with his own version of a subcompact car that would weigh less than 2,000 pounds and cost less than $2,000. He called it the Pinto, after a type of horse with different-colored patches. He pushed his team to design and produce the car in record time: 25 months instead of the usual 43 months. The Pinto was launched in 1970, and sold well initially.

The clash with Henry Ford II

Despite the Pinto controversy, Iacocca's career at Ford continued to soar. He was promoted to president of Ford in 1970, becoming the second-in-command after Henry Ford II, the grandson of the founder. He oversaw the development of new models, such as the Escort, the Fiesta, and the Granada. He also expanded Ford's presence in Europe and Asia. He was widely regarded as the heir apparent to Henry Ford II, who was expected to retire soon.

However, Iacocca's relationship with Henry Ford II deteriorated over time. They had different personalities and visions for the company. Iacocca was outspoken, ambitious, and flamboyant, while Ford was reserved, insecure, and autocratic. They clashed over various issues, such as product strategy, corporate culture, and public relations. Ford grew jealous and resentful of Iacocca's popularity and success. He also felt threatened by Iacocca's potential to take over his position. He began to undermine and sabotage Iacocca's work, by rejecting his proposals, cutting his budget, and removing his allies. He also spread rumors and insults about Iacocca in the media and among the executives.

In 1978, Ford decided to fire Iacocca, without giving him a clear reason. He told him: "Sometimes you just don't like somebody." Iacocca was shocked and devastated by the dismissal. He felt betrayed and humiliated by Ford, who he had served loyally for 32 years. He later wrote in his autobiography: "I was fired because I did a good job."

Comeback at Chrysler

The bailout and the turnaround

After leaving Ford, Iacocca received several offers from other companies, but he chose to join Chrysler, which was then the third-largest automaker in the US. He became the president and CEO of Chrysler in 1979. He faced a daunting task: Chrysler was on the verge of bankruptcy, due to years of mismanagement, poor quality, high costs, and low sales. It had a debt of $5 billion and a loss of $1.1 billion in 1979. It also faced stiff competition from foreign rivals, especially Japanese carmakers.

Iacocca took drastic measures to save Chrysler from collapse. He cut costs by laying off thousands of workers, closing plants, selling assets, and renegotiating contracts with suppliers and dealers. He improved quality by introducing stricter standards and inspections. He boosted sales by launching new models that were more fuel-efficient and reliable, such as the Omni and the Horizon. He also persuaded Congress to approve a $1.5 billion loan guarantee for Chrysler in 1980, which was a controversial move that faced opposition from critics who argued that it was a bailout for a failing company.

Iacocca's efforts paid off: Chrysler returned to profitability in 1981, and repaid its government loan seven years ahead of schedule in 1983. It also regained its market share and reputation in the industry. Iacocca became a national hero and a symbol of American resilience and ingenuity. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1983, with the headline: "America's Hottest Businessman". He also starred in Chrysler's commercials, with his famous slogan: "If you can find a better car, buy it."

The minivan and the K-car

Iacocca's most lasting legacy at Chrysler was his creation of two new segments of cars that revolutionized the industry: the minivan and the K-car. The minivan was a vehicle that combined the features of a car and a van, offering more space, comfort, and versatility for families. The K-car was a platform that allowed Chrysler to produce various models of cars using common parts and designs, saving time and money.

and it was an instant success. It sold over 200,000 units in its first year, and over 10 million units in its lifetime. It also created a new segment of cars called "minivans", which inspired competitors such as the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey. The minivan became Iacocca's signature product at Chrysler, and earned him the nickname "the father of the minivan". The K-car was another idea that Iacocca had brought from Ford, where he had worked on a project called "World Car" that aimed to create a global platform for various models of cars. He adapted it to Chrysler's needs and developed it with his team of engineers led by François Castaing. They designed a platform that could accommodate different body styles, such as sedans, coupes, wagons, and convertibles. They named it the K-car, after the letter K that was used to identify it in the engineering drawings. They launched it in 1981, with two models: the Dodge Aries and the Plymouth Reliant. They were simple, affordable, and fuel-efficient cars that appealed to the mass market. They sold over 2 million units in their lifetime. They also spawned other models that used the same platform, such as the Chrysler LeBaron, the Dodge Daytona, and the Chrysler New Yorker. The K-car helped Chrysler diversify its product line and reduce its production costs. The acquisition of AMC and Jeep

In 1987, Iacocca made another bold move: he acquired American Motors Corporation (AMC), which was then the fourth-largest automaker in the US. He paid $1.5 billion for AMC, which was a risky deal that faced skepticism from analysts and investors. However, Iacocca saw an opportunity to expand Chrysler's market share and portfolio. He was especially interested in AMC's Jeep brand, which was a leader in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. He believed that Jeep had a loyal customer base and a strong potential for growth.

Iacocca's gamble paid off: Jeep became one of Chrysler's most profitable and popular brands, accounting for over 40% of its sales by 1990. It also created a new segment of cars called "SUVs", which inspired competitors such as the Ford Explorer and the Chevrolet Blazer. Jeep introduced some of the most iconic models in history, such as the Cherokee, the Grand Cherokee, and the Wrangler. Jeep also enhanced Chrysler's image and reputation in the industry.

Later Years and Retirement

The failed bid for Chrysler

In 1992, Iacocca retired from Chrysler at the age of 68. He had transformed Chrysler from a struggling company to a successful one, increasing its sales from $11 billion to $52 billion and its profits from $-1.7 billion to $2.4 billion during his tenure. He had also left a lasting impact on the industry and the culture with his products and his personality. He was widely respected and admired by his peers and his fans.

However, Iacocca did not stay away from Chrysler for long. In 1995, he teamed up with Kirk Kerkorian, a billionaire investor who was Chrysler's largest shareholder at the time, to launch a hostile takeover bid for Chrysler. They offered $22.8 billion for Chrysler, which was then led by Robert Eaton, who had succeeded Iacocca as CEO. They argued that Chrysler was undervalued and underperforming under Eaton's leadership, and that they could restore its glory and growth. They also promised to keep Chrysler as an independent company and to protect its workers and dealers.

The bid was rejected by Chrysler's board of directors, who considered it too low and too risky. They also accused Iacocca of betrayal and greed, saying that he had violated his fiduciary duty and his loyalty to Chrysler by joining forces with Kerkorian. They also revealed that Iacocca had received confidential information from Chrysler after his retirement, which he had used to plan his bid. The bid sparked a bitter legal battle between Iacocca and Chrysler, which lasted for several years.

The electric vehicle venture

who was the founder of Subaru of America and Yugo America. They formed a company called EV Global Motors, which aimed to produce and sell electric bicycles and scooters. They believed that electric vehicles were the future of transportation, and that they could offer a clean, cheap, and convenient alternative to cars. They launched their first product in 2000, called the E-Bike, which was a battery-powered bicycle that could reach speeds of up to 24 mph and travel up to 35 miles on a single charge. They sold it for $1,500, and marketed it as a fun and eco-friendly way to commute, exercise, and explore. They also planned to introduce other models of electric vehicles, such as scooters, motorcycles, and cars.

However, EV Global Motors did not achieve the success that Iacocca and Bricklin had hoped for. They faced several challenges, such as low consumer demand, high production costs, regulatory hurdles, and technical glitches. They also faced competition from other companies that entered the electric vehicle market, such as Tesla and Toyota. EV Global Motors ceased operations in 2003, and sold its assets to other firms.

The philanthropy and activism

After his retirement from Chrysler, Iacocca devoted much of his time and money to various philanthropic and activist causes. He was especially passionate about diabetes research, as he had lost his first wife Mary to diabetes in 1983 and his son Michael to complications from diabetes in 2018. He founded the Iacocca Foundation in 1984, which has raised over $40 million for diabetes research and education. He also supported the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, where he served as chairman from 1989 to 2000.

Iacocca was also involved in other causes, such as education, arts, and culture. He donated millions of dollars to his alma mater Lehigh University, where he established the Iacocca Institute for Global Leadership and the Iacocca International Internship Program. He also supported the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where he served as chairman from 2004 to 2009. He also spearheaded the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the 1980s, which was a project that aimed to preserve two symbols of American freedom and immigration. He raised over $500 million for the project, which was completed in 1986.


Lee Iacocca was one of the most influential and charismatic leaders in the American automobile industry. He had a remarkable career that spanned over four decades and two companies: Ford and Chrysler. He was responsible for some of the most iconic cars in history, such as the Mustang, the minivan, and the Jeep. He also saved Chrysler from bankruptcy in the 1980s with a historic turnaround. He wrote several best-selling books about his life and career, including his autobiography Iacocca: An Autobiography. He also donated millions of dollars to various causes, such as diabetes research, education, arts, and culture.

Lee Iacocca died on July 2, 2019 at his home in Bel Air, California. He was 94 years old. He left behind a legacy of innovation, vision, courage, and charisma that inspired generations of entrepreneurs, managers, engineers, and consumers. He was a legend in the industry and a hero in the nation.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Lee Iacocca:

  • Q: How do you pronounce Iacocca?

  • A: Iacocca is pronounced as eye-uh-COH-kuh.

  • Q: What does Iacocca mean?

which are variants of the name Jacob. It means "son of Jacob" or "descendant of Jacob".

  • Q: What was Iacocca's net worth?

  • A: According to Celebrity Net Worth, Iacocca's net worth was estimated at $100 million at the time of his death.

  • Q: How many times was Iacocca married?

  • A: Iacocca was married three times. His first wife was Mary McCleary, whom he married in 1956 and had two daughters with: Kathryn and Lia. Mary died of diabetes in 1983. His second wife was Peggy Johnson, whom he married in 1986 and divorced in 1987. His third wife was Darrien Earle, whom he married in 1991 and divorced in 1994.

  • Q: Where can I download Iacocca's biography for free?

  • A: You can download Iacocca's biography for free in PDF format from this link: It is a scanned copy of his autobiography that was published in 1984.


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