Richard E. Dauch was a likely Hall of Famer when he first retired in 1991. Earlier, at General Motors, the former Purdue fullback had been Chevrolet's youngest plant manager. He would later head manufacturing for Volkswagen's first U.S. plant, in Pennsylvania. He then joined CEO Lee Iacocca to help guide Chrysler's comeback in the 1980s. But after his "retirement," Dauch went on to turn five discarded GM parts plants into a supplier powerhouse, American Axle & Manufacturing.
"Dick was practicing lean manufacturing and leading the quality revolution years before those terms became part of the business conversation," Iacocca said after Dauch's death in 2013, at the age of 71. "He put his heart and soul into the American auto industry."