Former auto dealership CEO known for philanthropy

Kyla Smith
The Detroit News

Tarik Daoud, who emigrated from Iraq as a young man and built a business empire that included two southeast Michigan car dealerships, died Sunday, May 24, 2015, at his home in Southfield. He was 78.

For almost 40 years, Mr. Daoud was the CEO of the former Al Long Ford in Warren, and at one time also owned the former Shamrock Ford-Lincoln-Mercury in Lenawee County. He founded the American Arab Chamber of Commerce and was known as a community leader and philanthropist.

“Tarik was one the kindest individuals that you could ever meet. He was always smiling,” said Robert P. Mallon, past president of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Mallon met Mr. Daoud 20 years ago when the Iraqi native was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

“His philanthropic efforts were well-known throughout the state of Michigan,” Mallon said.

Mr. Daoud served on the boards of organizations including Henry Ford Hospital, Michigan Opera Theatre, Wayne State University School of Business and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

“Tarik’s involvement in charity has helped a lot of people,” Mallon said. “He lived his life making the lives of others better.”

Mr. Daoud moved to the U.S. in 1956 and received an engineering degree from Lawrence Tech University. In 1963, Mr. Daoud began selling cars and eventually bought Al Long Ford. Al Long was the father of his wife, Helen.

“He was a wonderful person and so deserving of all accolades, Mallon said. “He is everything you would want in a human being.”

Mr. Daoud was named a 1998 Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News, which cited his charitable efforts, including scholarship and endowment funds he established at Albion College, Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University.

“I knew if I wanted to stay here, I had to be a good citizen,” Daoud told The News in a 1999 story. “You have to help other people, vote and be involved. I thought those are all things I should do.”

Beside his wife, Mr. Daoud is survived by children Laurie Kandow, Jean Daoud Kizy, John Daoud and Andrea Sarra.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Wednesday at Basilica of St. Mary Church, 18100 Merriman Road, Livonia.