Well known Little Caesars founder and Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch passed away last Friday, but it’s not just his death that everyone is talking about.
Ilitch kept a big secret with him for his entire life. Not only did he personally know Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks, but he had been covering her rent for years. When she moved into her Detroit apartment back in 1994 he had begun paying for her rent so that she could stay there for free.
Rosa Parks became famous back in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man that was demanding that she moved to the back. This was during a time of racial segregation, and she was arrested for her actions. This also resulted in a boycott of Montgomery buses that lasted for 381 days. More importantly however, it was a momentous action that inspired many to take part in the Civil Rights Movement so that people of all colors would be treated equally.
Rosa Parks passed away back in October of 2005 at the age of 92.
Since Ilitch had kept is such a secret it is unknown as to how long he had kept up payments on her apartment, but we do know that they stopped at some point. Parks had faced financial trouble during the later years of her life and had been evicted in 2002. A couple years later the Riverfront Apartments allowed for Parks to live in one of their apartments until Rosa Parks died.
Ilitch died at the age of 87 and had been honored on Wednesday by fans of the Detroit Red Wings from all over right before the hockey match. There was a moment of silence as well as a video tribute in remembrance of this kind man. His deeds for Ms. Parks was just one of many amazing things he did for the community.