Ronald DeLuca, Ad Man Who Helped Revive Iacocca’s Chrysler, Dies at 91

Aug 21, 2016 414

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.

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