I was wondering why automobile whiz kid Lee Iacocca was buried in Michigan. I mean, he was born in Philadelphia and died in California. So why? It had nothing to do with his connections with the Ford and Chrysler companies, which is what many people believe. Before I get to the reason, first a little background.

Lee was born in 1924 and when he turned 22 in 1946, he began his foray in the auto business, becoming an engineering trainee at Ford. It didn’t take long for Iacocca to become the president of Ford Motor Company, which didn’t seem to please Henry Ford Junior.

While at Ford, Iacocca developed what would become one of the country’s most classic cars: the Ford Mustang. One of his next projects was minivans; however, Ford didn’t care for that idea, so Iacocca took the minivan ideas to Chrysler...it became one of the country’s biggest sellers. He also brought convertibles back to the public mind and made them cool again with his introduction of the Chrysler LeBaron.

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Taking the wheel of Chrysler, Iacocca saved the company from bankruptcy during the 1980s.

Did you know he also was responsible for the Olivio company? The purpose was – and is – to make foods made from olive oil, with all profits sent to benefit diabetes research.

Lee’s first wife, Mary, passed away in 1983 at the age of 57. She died in Beaumont Hospital, located in Bloomfield Hills, not far from where they lived. They were married 27 years.

Lee remarried three years later to Peggy Johnson, 25 years his junior. That union was annulled the following year. He married a third time in 1991 to Darrien Earle; that was doomed too, and the couple divorced in 1994.

Lee’s heart and faithfulness seemed to remain with his first wife and love of his life Mary. When he passed away in 2019 at the age of 94, he was buried next to her in their plot in Troy, Michigan. He simply wanted to be next to her throughout eternity...

The Grave of Lee Iacocca


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