Monsters & Critics / Lee Iacocca

American Automotive Icon Lee Iacocca, Still Kicking The Tires Of Life

December 5, 2014

American automotive icon Lee Iacocca turned 90 this year, and he did it in big style at his Bel Air, California birthday bash.


A son of Italian immigrants, Mr. Iacocca began working at Ford Motor Company as an engineer in 1946 and eventually became president of Ford from 1970 to 1978.


Mr. Iacocca (L) and Paul Frey (R) and the “new” Mustang Image Courtesy of Iacocca Foundation

His work in redesigning the classic Ford Mustang, which debuted at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, was hailed as an industry game-changer.

He was also the man credited with saving Chrysler from bankruptcy, becoming CEO of the flailing car company in 1979. His business acumen and resurrection of a brand at the time was lauded by Time magazine, who featured him three times on their prestigious cover.


A successful author to boot, his 1984 book, “Iacocca: An Autobiography” became an international best-seller, and he starred in a series of Chrysler television commercials, making famous the line “If you can find a better car, buy it.”

His good work was exhibited from 1982 to 1986 with his leadership as Chairman of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Centennial Commission, which raised money to restore the Statue of Liberty.

In the 1980s, personal loss drove his interest to help eradicate diabetes, raising over 40 million dollars through his Iacocca Family Foundation.


His 2007 book “Where Have All the Leaders Gone?” co-written with Catherine Whitney is considered a top business book and another best-seller.

Now Mr. Iacocca is 90 years young and still active in the community, recently seen at notedpublicist Arlene Howard’s Diamond Jubilee birthday event November 8th at L’Ermitage along with over 100 celebrities and New York and Los Angeles business, media and legal power elite.

His daughters, Lia and Kate, celebrated his own 90th birthday with a New York-themed bash this past October, complete with a New York City taxicab parked out front of his home as some of the most influential friends and business peers celebrated his milestone, watching him dance the night away.


According to a news release, Mr. Iacocca celebrated with 80 of his closest friends and family.  Mr. Iacocca got a standing ovation from the crowd after leading his sister out on the dance floor.