Jay Penske

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Jay Penske
Born (1979-05-05) May 5, 1979 (age 44)
Alma materWharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)
Occupation(s)Businessman, investor, philanthropist
(m. 2012)
Parent(s)Kathy Penske (mother)
Roger Penske (father)
WebsitePenske Media
Dragon Racing

Jay Penske is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is the Chairman and CEO of Penske Media Corporation, a digital media and publishing company he founded in 2004.

Early life and education[edit]

Born on May 5, 1979, in New York City, New York, Penske is the youngest son of Kathy, an English teacher and Roger Penske, a businessman who was the founder of the transportation services company Penske Corporation and a former race car driver. Penske is an alumnus of St. Mary's Preparatory, in the Detroit suburb of Orchard Lake Village in Michigan, after having attended Cranbrook and Lawrenceville.[1]

At St. Mary's, Penske excelled athletically, as he was named was named All-League, All-State, All-American,[2] and Player of the Year by USA Today in lacrosse. Penske also played hockey and earned All-Region and All-State honors.[3] In 1997, he set the school records for the most goals, assists, and total points in lacrosse in the school's history, after which they retired his number in the school gymnasium.[4] During his final season of lacrosse Penske broke Michael Powell's record of 194 points with 202 points in a single season. He remains the only player in lacrosse history to average more than 10 points per game, and break the 200-point barrier in a single season.[5]

Penske graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School[3] with a Bachelor of Science in Management of Information Systems and Finance.[6] He is on the board of the Entrepreneurial School at the Wharton School as of 2007,[6] and is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania Library's Board of Directors.[7]

Business career[edit]

Media and publishing[edit]

Penske co-founded Firefly Mobile, Inc., a wireless company that developed the Firefly mobile phone for children, and other youth targeted mobile products.[6] The Firefly phone won the 2006 CES Innovation Award, presented by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).[8] Penske also owns Dragon Books, Ltd., a Los Angeles-based used bookstore which sells rare and collectible books which opened for business in 1999.[9]

Penske is the Chairman and CEO of Penske Media Corporation (PMC),[10] a digital media and publishing company that owns and operates a number of media brands, data services, and live events, including Rolling Stone, Variety, Billboard, and South by Southwest festival (SXSW).[11] Prior to being named Penske Media Corporation, it began as an affinity marketing and internet services company called Velocity Services, Inc.[12] The company acquired the Mail.com domain which was renamed to the Mail.com Media Corporation (MMC).[13]


Penske was co-owner of IndyCar Series racing team Dragon Racing, jointly with Steve Luczo, the Chairman of Seagate Technologies.[6] Raphael Matos won rookie of the year honors in 2009.[6][14] The team name is derived from Penske's love of books and business interest Dragon Books, Ltd., and his partner's last name.[15] For 2010, Penske's racing team had former Indy Lights champion Raphael Matos behind the wheel of the HP #2 car for the full Indycar Series circuit of events. In 2011, the name of the team changed to Dragon Racing, with Penske as the sole owner, and Paul Tracy was announced as the driver. In 2012 the team planned to run Lotus engines with a two-car team composed of Sébastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge. Due to issues with the Lotus engines[16] Dragon Racing switched to Chevrolet for the Indy 500.[17] Dragon Racing's drivers for the 2013 season were Sebastián Saavedra and Sébastien Bourdais.

In October 2013, Dragon Racing signed an agreement with Formula E Holdings to be the fourth franchise team to enter the new FIA Formula E Championship.[18] The team was runner-up in the 2014-15 season with drivers Jérôme d'Ambrosio (who ranked fourth), Oriol Servià, and Loïc Duval. In the 2015-16 season, d'Ambrosio was fifth and Duval eight.


Outside of the business world, Penske is also an active and ardent philanthropist. He assists the charitable trust organization the Paley Center for Media, where he sits on the Board of Directors. Penske was added to the Paley Board in 2015 along with Yannick Bollore, Chairman and CEO, Havas and Devin Wenig, the CEO of eBay.[19] Furthermore, Penske's racing team, Dragon Racing has donated over $250,000 of its race proceeds[20]—to benefit the charities and non-profit organizations founded by Baron Davis, Tony Dungy,[21] John Elway,[22] Wayne Gretzky, Marcus Allen, Jackson Browne, Brandi Chastain, Ronnie Lott, Jonny Moseley, Chris Mullin, Kerri Walsh and Kristi Yamaguchi.[23]

Recognition and awards[edit]

Under Penske's leadership, PMC was awarded as one of North America's top 100 private companies by Herring Research.[24] He was additionally recognized repeatedly as both a 30 Under 30 and Under 40 Success Story from his alma mater.[25] Penske was also added to Vanity Fair's New Establishment list,[26] and in 2010 the magazine named Penske one of the 10 best dressed men in the world in their "International Best-Dressed List" of that year.[27] Additionally he has been named a Vice Chair of the American Film Institute (AFI) in 2014 and in 2015 was named by the NY Observer newspaper as one of the 25 most powerful people in Los Angeles.[28]

Personal life[edit]

He became engaged to Elaine Irwin, the model and former wife of musician John Mellencamp, in October 2012.[29] Their daughter was born in 2013.[30]


  1. ^ Black, Julia (26 October 2020). "He has movie-star good looks, a former Victoria's Secret model wife, and a billionaire father. Here's how Jay Penske transformed from playboy to pragmatic media mogul". Business Insider. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  2. ^ "1997 Boys' High School All-American Lacrosse Team"; ESPN; Retrieved October 25, 2007
  3. ^ a b "St. Mary's Preparatory honors trio for athletic accomplishments"; April 15, 2004; The Oakland Press; Retrieved September 6, 2007
  4. ^ Lacrosse Records Archived 2009-06-21 at the Wayback Machine; St. Mary's Preparatory; Retrieved October 18, 2007
  5. ^ "Lacrosse Season Records:Points"; Retrieved August 17, 2020
  6. ^ a b c d e "Jay Penske hopes to follow in footsteps of famous father"; Bruce Martin; May 21, 2007; yahoo.com; Retrieved October 18, 2007
  7. ^ "Trustees' Winter Meeting Coverage"; February 27, 2007; University of Pennsylvania; Retrieved November 10, 2007
  8. ^ Firefly Mobile (2005-11-15). "Firefly™ Phone Wins 2006 'Best of Innovations' Award From Consumer Electronics Association". MarketWired.
  9. ^ "Another Penske Wants to Make Name at Indy"; May 25, 2007; Detroit Free Press; Retrieved November 10, 2007
  10. ^ "Son Adopts Father's Passion"[permanent dead link]; May 15, 2007; The Columbus Dispatch; Retrieved November 10, 2007
  11. ^ Rosman, Katherine (26 March 2022). "You Don't Know Much About Jay Penske. And He's Fine With That". The New York Times.
  12. ^ Novellino, Teresa. "Jay Penske founded Penske Media Group to acquire Conde Nast's Fairchild Fashion Media - The Business Journals". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  13. ^ Novellino, Teresa (20 August 2014). "Jay Penske picks up fashion bible WWD". Business Journals. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  14. ^ Dave Lewandowski (2009-12-08). "Journey partially fulfilled". IndyCar.
  15. ^ "Entry List Examination" Archived 2008-03-07 at the Wayback Machine; IndyCar; Retrieved October 24, 2007
  16. ^ Glendenning, Mark (May 9, 2012). "Dragon Racing sues Lotus over engine deal". Autosport.com.
  17. ^ Glendenning, Mark (May 17, 2012). "Dragon's switch to Chevrolet engines approved by IndyCar". Autosport.com.
  18. ^ Mike Szostech. "Dragon Racing joins FIA Formula E Championship". My Electric Car Forums. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  19. ^ "Board Of Paley Center for Media"; Paley Center for Media; Retrieved November 20, 2015
  20. ^ "Pit Notes"; May 17, 2007; USA Today; Retrieved November 10, 2007
  21. ^ "NFL" Archived 2009-06-23 at the Wayback Machine; Tony Dungy; Retrieved October 25, 2007
  22. ^ "John Elway"; John Elway; Retrieved October 24, 2007
  23. ^ "The Associated Press--NBC Archived 2009-06-22 at the Wayback Machine; May 24, 2007; Associated Press; Retrieved October 23, 2007
  24. ^ "Top 100 List" Archived 2013-09-02 at the Wayback Machine; Retrieved May 24, 2008
  25. ^ "Young Entrepreneur; November 6, 2005; Wharton School of Business; Retrieved August 18, 2014
  26. ^ Matt Pressman (2009-10-08). "The Next Establishment". Condenast.
  27. ^ VF Style Section. "The 2010 International Best-Dressed List". Condenast.
  28. ^ Oliver Jones (2015-07-07). "LA's Most Powerful 25 People". Observer.
  29. ^ "Elaine Irwin, John Mellencamp's Ex, Engaged to Jay Penske, Media Mogul". 21 January 2013.
  30. ^ "In Elaine's Lane".

External links[edit]