The successful trucking/automotive industry businessman, Roger Penske, has been announced as a member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.
The non-profit educational organization honours the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversity, and who are committed to higher education and charitable efforts in their local communities.
Mr. Penske, Chairman of Penske Commercial Vehicles, joins 10 other business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving the honour this year.
“Roger’s strong work ethic and determination to reach his goals is admirable and inspiring,” said Byron Trott, president, Horatio Alger Association.
“My fellow Members and I congratulate Roger on his induction into the Association, recognizing his self-made success, entrepreneurial vision and commitment to giving back.
“We look forward to working with him to further encourage our Scholars to follow their dreams, no matter the adversities they face.”
While Mr. Penske said the membership was an honour.
“I was fortunate enough to have a strong support network growing up and I learned the importance of believing in yourself and having the courage to take the first step toward your dream.
“We are all stronger and more capable than we think, and I hope to convey that message to as many young people as possible through my work with the Association.”
Roger Penske Biography:
Born and raised in Ohio, Roger Penske discovered his love of car racing at the age of 14 when his father brought him to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time.
This experience fuelled a desire for automobiles.
An unfortunate motorcycle accident left him with several serious injuries and after months of rehabilitation, he got his first job as a lot boy at a local car dealership.
He soon began buying old cars and rebuilding them for sale – the start of his career as an entrepreneur.
While attending Lehigh University, he began racing automobiles, and his first professional car race followed soon thereafter.
He quickly established himself as one of the most successful young road racers.
In 1964, he became a salesman at a Chevrolet dealership in Philadelphia. A year later, he was offered the opportunity to purchase the dealership, which came at a personal cost.
To pursue his career in business, he gave up his future as a race car driver and never looked back.
In 1969, Mr. Penske founded Penske Corporation, a transportation services company which now manages several subsidiaries including Penske Automotive Group, Penske Truck Leasing and Team Penske.
Mr. Penske is an active philanthropist with a special focus on supporting the city of Detroit.