For Years, The Founder of Little Caesars Paid Rent For Rosa Parks

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National Archives and Records Administration Records via Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

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Mike Ilitch, the late founder of Little Caesars, had an impact on the world beyond giving us the gift of "Pizza! Pizza!" commercials. The entrepreneur, who was born in Detroit, also surreptitiously paid Rosa Parks’s rent for more than a decade, according to CNN.

After the civil rights icon was robbed and assaulted in her Detroit home in 1994 when she was 81, Damon Keith, a federal judge and fellow civil rights crusader, set about looking for another apartment where she'd feel safer.

Mike Ilitch and his wife, Marian, at the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008. In addition to Little Caesars, they owned the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. Image Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When Ilitch read a newspaper article about Keith’s plan to find Parks a safer place to live, he offered to pay her rent for as long as necessary. He and his wife paid for Parks's apartment until her death in 2005 at age 92, according to a 2014 article in the SportsBusiness Journal.

Ilitch died on February 10, at the age of 87.

[h/t CNN]

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