Mike Ilitch the founder and owner of the Little Caesar’s Pizza franchise and the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers died last week at 87. I am not from Detroit, In the past I’ve been to Detroit numerous times to see Tiger games at old Tiger Stadium. Ilitich is a man being a sports fan and pizza fan- that I knew of. Since his passing I have read a number of stories about the man and what he’s meant to the city of Detroit over the years. I don’t know of a city that is more maligned city in America than Detroit. No other city comes close. The problems the city has had since the mid-60’s has been well covered by the media.
For years- from 1994 until her death in 2005 Illitch paid civil rights icon Rosa Parks rent. He did this quietly. A lot of times we hear of people like Ilitch- rich folk doing good things for people and they do it maybe through the goodness of their heart- but they are sure that the news gets out about it. Makes them look good. Ilitch didn’t have to do this, no one would have expected him to do it but he did it without publicity. He did it because he had read a story about Parks being robbed and assaulted in her apartment when she was 81.