Bangle joins the ranks of some famous past award winners such as Giorgetto Giugiaro, the recently deceased Sergio Pininfarina and William "Willy" G. Davidson of Harley-Davidson.
Born in Ravenna Ohio, Bangle attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, earning a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master's degree in Industrial Design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He became the first American chief of design of BMW on 1 October 1992, where his styling themes have generated intense controversy among automotive designers and have had a polarizing effect with respect to their visual cues.
During his tenure at BMW, his most controversial creation was the E65 7 Series, a sharp contrast to the preceding E38 generation which was conservatively styled. Time magazine named it as one of the 50 Worst Cars of All Time for its rear end styling and iDrive functionality. However, to Bangle’s credit, the E60 5 Series in my opinion was the most beautiful 5 Series to date. It had an aggressive front fascia with an athletic stance.
In 2009, Bangle left BMW and the auto industry altogether to focus on his own design-related endeavours.