Auto industry legend Lee Iacocca dies

Auto industry legend Lee Iacocca dies

Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca died Tuesday at the age of 94 at his home in California, according to multiple news reports.

A spokesperson for the family told the Los Angeles Times that Iacocca died of natural causes at his Bel-Air home. The former auto industry executive built a prolific career at the Ford Motor Co. where he was a key player behind the company's launch of its iconic Mustang in 1964.


He would later go on to be fired as the company's president by then-CEO Henry Ford Jr. in 1978 after receiving criticism for what some saw as a ruthless climb to power through the ranks of Ford. That same year he would go on to be hired as the CEO of Chrysler, which at the time was at risk of declaring bankruptcy.

Iacocca was credited in the years following with Chrysler's revitalization, culminating in the company paying back more than $1 billion in government loans seven years early. During his time at Chrysler, Iacocca starred in a now-famous TV commercial in which he challenged potential car buyers to find a better automobile: "If you can find a better car, buy it!"

After leaving the company in 1992, he would later battle his former employer in court, finally settling in 1996 over claims that the company cut his access to stock options and counter-claims of improperly feeding insider information to a potential successor.

He is succeeded by two daughters by his first wife, Mary, who died from complications of her diabetes in 1986. He also has two ex-wives from subsequent marriages that both ended in divorce.