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April 2: Walter P. Chrysler was born on this date in 1875

GE Anderson
April 2, 2013

On this date — April 2, 1875 — Walter Percy Chrysler was born. Chrysler began his career as a railroad mechanic, but in 1911 was hired as production manager for Buick Motor Cars and soon became Buick's general manager for a salary of $10,000 plus half a million dollars per year in stock options, which he eventually sold back to General Motors for $10 million. Chrysler left Buick to run Willys-Overland for $1 million per year, and was one of the wealthiest men in America when he founded Chrysler Corporation in 1925.

In 1928, the year Chrysler acquired Dodge, he commissioned the Chrysler Building in New York City, an Art Deco masterpiece that was the tallest building in the world until the Empire State Building came along in 1931.