by Sam Roberts
Ronald DeLuca, who orchestrated the advertising campaign that spared the Chrysler Corporation from insolvency in the 1980s and transformed Lee Iacocca, the ailing automaker's voluble chief executive, into a national brand himself, died on Tuesday in Oneonta, N.Y. He was 91. The cause was complications of myelodysplastic syndrome, his grandson Mark Lotto said.
Mr. DeLuca and Mr. Iacocca forged a bond in 1967, when Mr. Iacocca was in the last phase of his 32-year career with the Ford Motor Company and Mr. DeLuca was a creative director at Kenyon & Eckhardt. Almost exactly the same age — Mr. DeLuca was 13 days younger — both men were born in Pennsylvania, sons of Italian immigrants. In 1978, when Mr. Iacocca joined Chrysler at a salary of $1 a year to salvage the company, which was nearly bankrupt, he wooed Kenyon & Eckhardt away from its $75 million account with Ford.