Former Ford President Robert McNamara passed away in his sleep yesterday at the age of 93. McNamara joined the Blue Oval in 1946 and quickly ascended the ranks, becoming the General Manager of the Ford Division in 1955.
During McNamara's tenure, the Ford brand bested Chevrolet in U.S. sales for the first time in 22 years. McNamara's biggest success was the 1960 Ford Falcon, which sold 500,000 units in its first year. McNamara also made the decision to convert the sexy two seat Thunderbird into the less attractive but more salable four-seat version. As unattractive as that decision seemed at the time, Thunderbird sales increased four-fold after the change.
After only one month as President of Ford Motor Company, McNamara went to Washington to be the Secretary of Defense for John F. Kennedy. He held the position until 1968. After his time in politics, McNamara spent 12 years as the head of the World Bank. Hit the jump to watch a commercial touting the 1960 Ford lineup, including the introduction of the Falcon.
[Sources: Mustang Monthly; Autoweek]