‘Little Caesars’ founder paid Rosa Parks’ rent for more than a decade

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Mike Ilitch, who founded Little Caesars and who owned the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers, died on Friday at the age of 87. Now, as Detroit marks the loss of the pizza magnate, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has shared the story of how Ilitch paid Rosa Parks’ rent for over a decade.

“It will give you a sense of the kind of man Mike Ilitch was,” Calley wrote on Saturday morning along with a link to the MLive story.

According to Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal, Ilitch took over on paying Parks’ rent in 1994 when he heard that there were some concerns over her welfare and safety when she became the victim of assault and robbery. He continued to pay her rent up until she died in 2005.

“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,” U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith said in 2014.

Since the announcement of Ilitch’s death, many such stories of his generosity and kindness have been flooding social media and other places as many remember him and share their own tributes.