Mike Ilitch, the founder of Little Caesars, passed away on Friday, and a CNN affiliate revealed something about him that has people talking.
It turns out that Rosa Parks, who played an integral role in the civil rights movement, received financial help from Ilitch after she was robbed and assaulted at her home in Detroit in 1994.
A federal judge and resident of Detroit, Damon Keith, said in an interview with WXYZ that, although people don’t go around talking about Ilitch’s charity, he wants people to know how much he meant to Parks and the rest of the city.
After her assault, Keith assisted Parks with finding a place to live. After hearing about the incident, Ilitch called him and offered to pay Parks’ rent for as long as necessary. He ended up paying her rent until she passed away in 2005.
The story was originally published in Sports Business Daily in 2014. Keith presented a copy of a $2,000 check from 1994 that was made out to Riverfront Apartments and came from Little Caesars. The story has come back to life after Ilitch’s death.
After his death on Friday, Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley posted a link to the story on Facebook to give people a sense of the man that Ilitch was.