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Lee Iacocca

Lee Iacocca
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
David Levine, 20 Dec 1926 - 29 Dec 2009
Sitter
Lee Anthony Iacocca, 15 Oct 1924 - 2 Jul 2019
Date
1985
Type
Drawing
Medium
India ink and pencil on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 34.8 × 28 cm (13 11/16 × 11")
Mat: 45.7 × 35.6 cm (18 × 14")
Topic
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Caricature
Home Furnishings\Lighting Devices\Light bulb
Lee Anthony Iacocca: Male
Lee Anthony Iacocca: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Business executive\Automobile
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Estate of David Levine
Object number
NPG.93.103
Exhibition Label
Born Allentown, Pennsylvania
Automobile executive Lee Iacocca introduced the iconic Mustang to Ford Motor Company’s lineup in 1964. An experienced salesman, Iacocca became the president of Ford in 1970. Despite being fired by Henry Ford II in 1978, Iacocca was hired by Chrysler Corporation to be its president and chief executive officer in 1979. As CEO, he rescued the company from financial distress through an unprecedented $1.2 billion loan from the federal government. This loan, accompanied with his memorable television commercial challenge—“If you can find a better car, buy it”—enabled Chrysler to pay off the loan in 1983, a full seven years early.
In David Levine’s caricature, we see Iacocca with a shattered lightbulb above his head. Perhaps representative of the groundbreaking ideas used to rescue Chrysler, this addition also highlights Iacocca’s skills as an inventive engineer and businessman.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery