Businessman Lido Anthony “Lee” Iacocca was born in Pennsylvania in 1924 to Italian immigrants Nicola “Nick” Iacocca and Antonietta Perrotta. Lee Iacocca went on to become the president of Ford Motor Company from 1970 to 1978 and the CEO of Chrysler Corporation from 1978 to 1992.
Where did the first name Lido come from?
Before his marriage, Nick and one of Antoinette’s brothers had visited Venice, Italy, enjoying the grand and beautiful Lido Beach. To Nick, the spot was perfect. So was his new son, hence the name Lido.
And what drove Lido Iacocca to shorten his already-short first name to “Lee”?
Early on in his career…
“As part of my job, I had to make a lot of long-distance calls. In those days, there was no direct dialing, so that you always had to go through operators. They’d ask for my name, and I’d say “Iacocca.” Of course, they had no idea how to spell it, so that was always a struggle to get that right. Then they’d ask for my first name and when I said “Lido,” they’d break out laughing. Finally I said to myself: “Who needs it?” and I started calling myself Lee.”
Which name do you prefer, Lido or Lee?
- Collins, David R. Lee Iacocca: Chrysler’s Good Fortune. Ada, OK: Garrett Educational Corp, 1992.
- Iacocca, Lee and William Novak. “Iacocca: An Autobiography”
Reader’s Digest Jul. 1985: 79.