An Autobiography: Lee Iacocca

Word Count: 2283

1. Title: Iacocca, An Autobiography.

2. Author: Lee Iacocca with William Novak.

3. This book is an Autobiography.

4. Publisher: Bantam Books ®

5. Copyright © July 1986

6. Pages: 357

7. Historical Background: His name when he was born was Lido, not really Lee. He changed it when he had to go down South for a sales campaign. He thought that the Southerners would like it better if his name was Lee. It worked fairly well too. Anyway, His father was the first person to arrive in America. He arrived in 1902, at the age of 12. His father went back to his birthplace, Italy, and married Antoinette. They came back across the Atlantic. Except this time, his father, Nicola, was an American citizen. They moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania, also where Lee was born and raised. Lee (Lido, I’ll use Lee from now on though.) was born on October 15, 1924. Lee’s father was a sort of philosophical type of person. He always had an important lesson to tell his son. It usually was great advice that just about anyone and everyone could use. His father once said that ‘When times are tough, be in the food business. No matter how tough times get, people still have to eat.’ He was right. He had a hot dog food stand that stayed afloat during all of the depression. Lee was in the Allentown public schools, as a kid. He was an Italian kid in a place full of ‘Pennsylvania Dutch.’ So he was harassed by a lot of kids. He never let it get him down though. His father was always pushing him to be the best. His father was a hard worker and came from a foreign family. Back then, most parents that came from a foreign country always seemed to push their kids to do their best so they can have a better life style than their parents. Lee ended up going to Lehigh for college. He did very well for himself. Before he went to college though, he enlisted in the army. It was around World War II when he did so, of course. But because he had Rheumatic fever when he was a kid , he couldn’t go and fight. The doctors said it was gone. The army said it could come back though. So they rejected his application. He went to Lehigh instead. Ford always took the top student out of the top fifty colleges back then, for a study at Ford. They would get to work at Ford doing just about everything you could do. Lee was one of them invited. He enrolled at Princeton after that. He graduated with a degree in engineering. Engineering turned out to be the wrong place to work at though. He wanted to be in the people part of the business.

8. Lee Iacocca is famous for a number of things. Some of his most famous are his having to play a major role in creating the immensely successful original Ford Mustang. Then from there he went on to be President of Ford in the 1970’s. Henry Ford II was trying to get rid of Lee. He thought Lee was always plotting against him. So eventually, after a lot of pressure and some serious blows close to home, Henry just flat out fired Lee. Lee then accepted an offer at Chrysler to bail out the company. There were a few other people that had been fired from Ford during Henry’s rampage, that were already at Chrysler. Chrysler was a disaster. Nothing was organized. Lee got it all organized and tried to save the company, but they had huge debts, and the government regulations and the oil crisis were killing not only Chrysler, but GM and Ford were getting hit hard too. Since Chrysler was the smallest, and it had the most problems, it got hit the hardest. As a last ditch effort, Lee went to the government for loans. He got them after a huge fight and some bad publicity. He turned Chrysler around, and turned it into a profitable company. It also made good quality cars too. He’s credited for being the creator, and being the first person to bring the minivan to the market. It was extremely successful. Chrysler is now