Lee Iacocca, son of a poor immigrant, has become one of America's most respected business men. From lowly beginnings and through many adversities, he worked his way up to President of Chrysler Corporation.
Just out of college, he began working for Ford Motor Company as a student engineer. On assembly line, he learned every aspect of how automobiles were put together.
Although he was awkward and bashful, Lee was promoted to a salesman. It was there that he met a man who took him under his wings and taught Iacocca how to be best salesman he could.
In 1956 sales were slumping at Ford. Iacocca suggested offering a new 1956 Ford for a modest down payment, followed by three years of $56 payments. The "56 for 56" idea took off like a rocket.
After 10 long years of hard work, Lee had become an "overnight success."
Soon he was promoted to work as manager for Ford's national truck marketing, then another promotion to head company's car marketing.
Not stopping there, Iacocca set out to develop his own style of car. In 1964 Ford introduced Mustang. Ford dealerships were literally mobbed with people wanting to buy car and a new yearly sales record was established.
In 1970, Lee was promoted to ultimate position, president of Ford Motor Company, second in command under Henry Ford II.
Never wanting to stop at success, he kept coming up with innovative and cost cutting ideas.
But, trouble lay ahead.
Ford was in control, like it or not, and he liked to exercise that control whatever consequences might be. Ford began to worry about this "son of an immigrant" taking over family business.
It was salami slicing time at Ford. And Henry did it one slice at a time. Finally, Lee learned through a friend that he too had gotten the
Under terms of resignation, Iaccoca was given an office until he found a job. It turned out to be in an obscure warehouse. A little cubicle with a small desk, one telephone, and cracked linoleum on floor.
For Iaccoca it was like being sent to Siberia.
It wasn't long before he was offered presidency of Chrysler Corporation. Not exactly a cushy position. Chrysler was in trouble, big trouble. The same day Chrysler announced hiring of Lee Iaccoca, they also announced their worst deficit in history.