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Lee Iacocca. Photo: Taro Yamasaki/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

Lee Iacocca, the cigar-chomping auto industry icon who invented the Ford Mustang and later saved Chrysler from bankruptcy, has died. He was 94.

Why it matters: The hard-charging Iacocca was the United States' most famous CEO and corporate pitchman in the 1980s, fiercely competitive and a symbol of the American auto industry's triumphs and challenges, Automotive News writes in a comprehensive obituary.

  • In the early '80s, Iacocca ranked behind only President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II in a Gallup-poll list of the world’s most respected men, according to the Washington Post, and his self-titled 1984 memoir was a best-seller for 38 weeks.

Iacocca's salesmanship was legendary: "If you can find a better car, buy it" and "Buy a car, get a check."

His big gamble at Ford — bringing the low-priced but sleekly styled Mustang "pony car" to market in 1964 — was a smash that put his career on the fast track.

  • He was famously fired by Henry Ford II in 1979, but then scooped up almost immediately by Chrysler, which was in desperate need of a turnaround.
  • In 1980 he persuaded Congress to approve federal loan guarantees of $1.5 billion, then restored Chrysler profitability and paid the money back 7 years early — with interest.
  • Along the way, he hit another home run — the family hauling minivan.

The cause of his death on Tuesday was complications from Parkinson’s disease, his daughter Lia Iacocca Assad told WashPost.

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  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 7 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
9 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.