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Log In / Register | May 22, 2018

Mike Ilitch Touched Lives with His Philanthropy

After Little Caesars co-founder (with wife Marian) and owner Mike Ilitch's death a week ago today, some lips have apparently been unsealed and stories of his philanthropic side have made their way into the press.

He paid Rosa Parks' rent for 10 years: After her rise to national fame when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person, becoming a symbol of the civil rights movement in America, she moved to Detroit, where Ilitch and his family lived and did business. 

Parks, at age 81, was robbed and assaulted in her [Detroit] home in 1994.

Keith [federal judge Damon Keith of Detroit] told the Sports Business Daily in 2014 that he helped find Parks a safer place to live. She eventually settled at the Riverfront Apartments in Detroit, according to the journal.

Ilitch read the story in the newspaper, contacted Keith and offered to pay her rent for the rest of her life, which he did until Parks died in 2005. — FoxNews

Ilitch, a former Marine who had served on a military baseball team at Pearl Harbor during the Korean War, had a soft spot in his heart for veterans. Years ago Mike Shaub was in his twenties and just home from serving in the military. He went to work at a Little Caesars, then a while later turned in his notice. Ilitch approached him:

Mike Ilitch, who is also a veteran, offered him the opportunity to own his own stores.  He took that opportunity. 

He eventually would help Mr. Ilitch start the Little Caesar's Veterans Program, which helps all veterans, but especially disabled veterans, buy a restaurant. — Kim Russell, WXYZ Detroit

More about Mike Ilitch as a modern-day Good Samaritan and good neighbor here.

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