Tags: rosa parks | rent | detroit | Mike Ilitch

Rosa Parks Rent for Safe Home in Detroit After Robbery Paid by Pizza-Sports Tycoon Mike Ilitch

Image: Rosa Parks Rent for Safe Home in Detroit After Robbery Paid by Pizza-Sports Tycoon Mike Ilitch

Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File). Inset: Rosa Parks (AP Photo/Khue Bui).
 

By    |   Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 11:16 AM

Rosa Parks rent was paid for by Little Caesars Pizza owner Mike Ilitch "for as long as necessary" when the civil rights icon had to move to a safer place after she was robbed and assaulted in Detroit in the mid-1990s.

Ilitch, who also owned Major League baseball's Detroit Tigers and the NHL Detroit Red Wings, was being remembered after his death last Friday.

One story confirmed by U.S. District Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith, a close friend of Parks, was Ilitch's generosity toward Parks, reported the Detroit Free Press.

Parks had moved from Alabama to Detroit in 1957 after her defiant stand on Montgomery city bus two years earlier which has been credited as one of the catalysts for the modern Civil Rights Movement and the rise of Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to the Sports Business Journal, Parks, then 81, was robbed and injured in her central Detroit home. Keith was working with a real estate developer to try to find Parks a safer place to live when they received an unsolicited call from Ilitch wanting to help.

Ilitch pledged to pay the Parks' rent at her new residence "for as long as necessary." Parks moved into the more secure Riverfront Apartments where she lived until her death in 2005 at 92, but it was unclear how long Ilitch paid her rent.

"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," Keith told the Business Journal in 2014.

"… Mike Ilitch is totally committed to Detroit. He brought the Little Caesars corporate offices here. He saved the Fox Theatre. He built Comerica Park, and he kept the hockey and baseball teams thriving here when times were tough. But of all the incredible things he has done for the city, people should know what he did for Rosa Parks."

Ilitich's son Christopher Ilitch, president of Ilitch Holdings Inc., said his father's generosity was part of who he was, reported MLive.com.

"My father was a once-in-a-generation entrepreneur, visionary and leader, setting the tone for our organization and our family," said Christopher Ilitch. "He made such a positive impact in the world of sports, in business and in the community, and we will remember him for his unwavering commitment to his employees, his passion for Detroit, his generosity to others and his devotion to his family and friends."

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Rosa Parks rent was paid for by Little Caesars Pizza owner Mike Ilitch "for as long as necessary" when the civil rights icon had to move to a safer place after she was robbed and assaulted in Detroit in the mid-1990s.
rosa parks, rent, detroit, Mike Ilitch
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2017-16-16
Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 11:16 AM
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