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Auto industry icon Lee Iacocca dies at 94

The 'Father of the Mustang' has died.
Credit: AP Photo/Mario Cabrera
File photo of Lee Lacocca, an American auto executive who's been credited with steering the Chrysler Corporation away from bankruptcy in the 1980s.

Lee Iacocca, who’s been credited with saving Chrysler from bankruptcy in the 1980s, has died, his daughter confirmed to The Washington Post. He was 94. 

Lia Iacocca Assad told the Washington Post her father died from complications from Parkinson's disease. 

Iacocca climbed through the ranks at Ford and became known as the "Father of the Mustang," for helping launch the iconic sports car. He was fired in July 1978 by chairman Henry Ford II. Shortly after, he was hired to head up Chrysler, which he later said felt like “going from the frying pan into the fire.”

Iacocca eventually determined Chrysler would need government intervention to survive and won a $1.5 billion loan guarantee from Congress, according to the Detroit Free Press.

He wound up saving the company and became quite the celebrity with his appearances in Chrysler commercials. In one TV spot, he walked the floor of a factory and told viewers, "If you can find a better car, buy it!" 

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan tasked Iacocca to head up a private sector effort to raise money to restore and preserve the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. He became the founding chairman of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. 

According to his website bio, when Iacocca retired from Chrysler in 1992, he considered everything from running for public office to becoming the commissioner of Major League Baseball, but wound up taking the “consulting route.”