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Little Caesars Founder Mike Ilitch Paid Rosa Parks’ Rent

Learn how $5 pizza empire helped a Civil Rights icon…

Little Caesar’s founder Mike Ilitch sadly passed away last week at the age of 87. The Detroit businessman was a well-known philanthropist and championed many charities throughout his beloved city. Now, one story about the pizza founder’s generosity has made the news following his death reports Sports Business Weekly.

Judge Damon Keith, a friend of Ilitch, shared a touching story of how the businessman came to rescue of Rosa Parks during a dark time in her life:

“It’s for $2,000, dated November the first, 1994. It’s from Little Caesars Enterprises to Riverfront Apartments, and I know it was just one of many,” said Keith, 91, who has been a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in Detroit for the last 46 years. “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.”

On Aug. 31, 1994, Parks, then 81, was robbed and assaulted in her home in central Detroit. Keith called real estate developer Alfred Taubman, the owner of Riverfront Apartments, about finding a safer home for Parks. Taubman pledged to find the best home available.


Illitch paid Parks’ rent every month until she died in 2005. The generous businessman supported numerous charities and helped everyone he met. Rest in power to this amazing man, you have an eternal invitation to the cookout!



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