Last Friday at the age of 87, self-made billionaire Michael "Mike" Ilitch died at a Detroit Hospital. In the days since his death it has been revealed that, in addition to his successful business ventures as founder of Little Caesars Pizza, owner of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team, and the Detroit Tigers Major baseball team, the American business magnate was also a 'good samaritan,' discreetly paying monthly rent for Civil Rights pioneer, Rosa Parks.
Photo: Associated Press
In a recently resurfaced 2014 article featured in Sports Business Daily, Detroit judge, Damon Keith told the story of how Ilitch came to the aid of Parks, then 81, after she was robbed and assaulted in her Detroit city home. “It’s important that people know what Mr. Mike Ilitch did for Ms. Rosa Parks because it’s symbolic of what he has always done for the people of our city,” said Judge Keith.
After reading about the 1994 assault, Ilitch reached out to Judge Keith who served as the executor of the trust established for Parks housing and offered to pay Parks’ rent for as long as necessary. He kept his word, paying her monthly rent for a decade until Parks passed away in 2005. In the photo below, Judge Damon Keith presents one of many checks that Ilitch paid for civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks’ housing.
Photo: Kimberly Kendrick
Thank you for your kindness, Mr. Ilitch. Rest in peace.
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