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 for 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 lifestyle 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.
. 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 a huge company that is not only profitable, but it makes world class cars. But when Lee first got there, it looked impossible. He did it though.
. When Lee was entering college, he had an interest in engineering. He wasn’t quite sure of what he wanted to do. He just knew he had an interest for it. He was also a guy that liked people. When he started to do a little engineering work, he soon figured out that it wasn’t right for him. He wanted to be “Where the action is.” So he went into the sales department. He was happy with that, because he got to be in the people part of the business. That’s when he found out what he liked to do. He accomplished that goal quite successfully. He would move up the ranks to become president of two major corporations. He always knew what the other people wanted somehow. A lot of cars that he was involved in making turned out to be some of the biggest successes in the history of
. The most influential in his life was probably his father. His father was never at a shortage of words of advice to give to his son or anyone else for that matter. His father always gave him tips on success. His father was a very knowledgeable man that knew what he was saying. His father probably gave him direction like no one else. He was always there to support Lee. Another big influence in his life, was a good friend of his at Ford, Charlie Beacham. Charlie was always giving him advice when Lee worked as a salesman. They were very close friends and Charlie gave him lots of advice on the car business and other things in life, much like Lee’s father. Lee pretty much carved his own way up through the ranks at Ford. He didn’t follow anyone, he did it himself. He always recalls things that Charlie and his father said to him. It seems as if the advice from these two people was the most influential in his life, more than anyone, or anything, else.
. I think the main turning point in his life, was when he decided to get out of engineering and turn to “the people part of the business.” If he didn’t decide to do that, he might have been stuck designing cars for the rest of his life, instead of moving up through the ranks to the top of Ford, and later Chrysler. There were other major turning points in his life too. Like when the army wouldn’t let him fight in the war. Most of his friends ended up dead from fighting in Germany. He did not. He felt guilty because of it. But he decided to make the most out of his life. If he was in the army, I might not be writing this report on him. And things like the Ford Mustang or the minivan might not have been invented. A couple other major turning points in his life was his election as president of Ford, and even bigger was his firing from Ford. Then he turned to Chrysler and turned it around. He wasn’t too big on some things the government
did. He lacks some respect for the government. But when it came down to it, he had to get loans from them. It wasn’t easy either. When he finally did, however, it was almost without precedent. Although he would argue against that. The government had bailed out a few other companies too. I don’t think there was a loan quite as big as theirs though. But they repaid their debt. Not only did they repay it, but with interest and about seven years early of the deadline. Those were all major turning points in his life.The time period this person has lived, is in the space and computer age. He was around when the first computers were, and was around for the much newer ones that are a whole lot better. He has also been through such major events in the history of America, such as the Great Depression. Things that not only greatly affected him but all of America too like the oil embargo. He has seen the
first walk on the moon and all other space oriented things. He has also survived World War II, but without fighting in it though. The Great Depression probably taught him a lot about how to keep in business during rough times, something he would need later at Chrysler. World War II had an effect on him too. He felt really bad about not being able to fight. He was all pumped up and ready to go,
most of his friends from high school went and got killed fighting for democracy. To this day, he says he still looks through his high school Senior year book in disbelief at all of the good people that died. 13. New and unusual aspects I learned about the persons life is things like how he got fired from Ford. I had only heard that he was fired. I didn’t hear the whole story though. Once I heard
it in his own words, I really felt a lot of dislike towards Henry Ford II. I also did not have a clue how hard he worked as a kid. I didn’t know a lot of things like the people that influenced his life, like what a great father he had. I never knew how much trouble Chrysler was in when he got there too. He had one huge struggle to overcome the problems of that company. He did a great job though.
He had a great many accomplishments. He was looking towards the future too. During the oil embargo and inflation and things like that, some of the stuff he had planned for Ford would have been perfect. But old Henry the deuce didn’t like it, he wanted to be more traditional. That’s what hurt Ford. Lee would have made Ford even more profitable than they already were if he was able to bring
out the Minivan with Ford. He had started the idea for the car with a friend in 1974. The minivan would be introduced until a decade later, and it was with Chrysler. GM and Ford seeing what a success it was, were quick to copy it. None of them were as good as the Chrysler’s though. The Chrysler was actually fun to drive, and was original. Chrysler also being the smallest, had the best engineering there was. They used that to their advantage. 14. I feel that I know a lot more about Lee Iacocca than I did before reading this book. I learned that it takes a lot of hard work to get very far in life. He got good grades as a kid, he always had a good schedule to keep him in line too. He always left time for the family though. He ALWAYS kept his weekends open for his family no matter what. He thought that spending time with family was far more important than anything else. It’s a good thing to have values like that. He’s an honest hard working man that deserved all the good things he got. He didn’t fold when it looked hopeless at Chrysler, he did everything he could to keep the company alive, and now it’s having more success than it ever has in it’s history of existence. This is a very good book, and I recommend that everyone read this one. It’s got a lot of interesting stuff and advice in it. It also gives great insight into the auto manufacturing business. There are a lot of stereotype’s out there that say a car company tried to kill them. But really, all of the guys that make the cars are driving them themselves. They don’t purposely make bad cars, they drive them and so do their kids, and I don’t think all of them are suicidal maniacs either. I think most of them are sane people. I say one thing we need less of in America is blood sucking lawyers. They’re just greedy people that we could do without some of them. I learned that in order to succeed, you must not give up easily. You can’t give up on your dreams until you have put your all into it.
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