Lee Iacocca

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Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca, born Lido Iacocca on October fifteenth 1924, was the son of an Italian immigrant named Nicola Iacocca. He had one sister named Antonette.
The family lived in Allentown, Pennsylvania. His father was some what of an entrepreneur in the food service industry. The family business was called the
Orpheum Weiner House in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The company is still standing today, operating under the name Yocco's, his uncles' are still making hot dogs for the public. Growing up in Allentown was difficult for Lee, because of his ethnic background. Allentown was primarily made up of Dutch immigrants. In his early years of education he was ridiculed for his heritage. An his senior year in high school Lee came down with rheumatic fever. He had a harsh bout with the disease because there was no modern medicine to aid in the recovery. In 1941 during the World War he was very excited about joining the military. Ironically, the illness that had almost killed him, saved him from going to war. Most of his classmates that joined the service had been killed over-seas and abroad. For college Lee chose Lehigh
University for its engineering program, although he wanted to go to Purdue, he did not get a scholarship. Lehigh University was one of the sights that Ford
Motor Company used to recruit new employees. He was able to secure a place in the Ford training program, it was difficult for him to get admission but he survived. During his time in the training program Lee had become less interested in the engineering aspect of the business and more in sales. He dropped out of the program to pursue areas in sales with the Ford Corporation.
During his time at Ford Lee Iacocca came out with several very innovative purchasing concepts. One concept was the 56 for 56 payment plan. This payment plan would allowed the consumer to purchase a new Ford vehicle with a twenty percent down payment and a $56 monthly payment until the vehicle was paid off.
This was one of the first payment plans that was structured to be affordable for the consumer. The system was responsible for selling over seven hundred fifty thousand vehicle in 1956. Although his career with the Ford Motor Company was extensive, all that would come to an end with the production of one vehicle the
"Pinto". After Ford was able to settle law suits over the compact car for explosive reasons, (the Pinto was noted for exploding from rear end collisions), they recalled over a million and a half Pintos.

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