Born: Oct. 12, 1924 in Allentown, PA, to Italian-immigrant parents. He changed his name from Lido to Lee after joining Ford Motor Co.

Education: Degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.

Ford Years: Hired in 1946 as an engineer. Unhappy with that work, he switched to sales, and began moving up. Credited as the father of the Mustang. Blamed (by some) as the father of the Pinto. Named Ford president in 1970. A personality conflict between him and Henry Ford II led to his firing in July of 1978. When Iacocca asked why, Ford allegedly replied, “Because I don't like you.”

Chrysler Years: Hired as chairman of Chrysler Corp. in November of 1978. Became one of the world's most widely recognized executives and an advocate of U.S. business. Left Chrysler in 1992. Joined an unsuccessful effort to acquire the auto maker, causing hard feelings among his successor and others, who thereupon scratched plans to name a new headquarters building after him.

Today: Oversees various businesses, including a wine line (from grapes grown at his vineyards in Italy) and olive products. Active in diabetes research fund raising through the Iacocca Foundation. Wife Mary died of diabetes.

Trivia: To remember how to correctly spell his name, Chrysler employees devised this mnemonic: I Am Chairman Of Chrysler Corp. Always. Well, not always; nothing lasts forever.