Trump awards Penske Presidential Medal of Freedom

    President Donald J. Trump shakes hands after presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to legendary race car driver and race team owner Roger Penske, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in the Oval Office of the White House. | Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

    Detroit businessman Roger Penske was awarded on Thursday the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Donald Trump presented Penske with the honor at a White House ceremony.

    The chair of the auto sales and logistics company Penske Corp. is a former professional auto racer known for sponsoring champions in the sport.

    The award is the highest civilian honor and is given to those the president deems to have contributed to the national interest, world peace or with other cultural, private or public endeavors. Trump’s best-known recipient is perhaps golfer Tiger Woods.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.