When Mike Illitch learned that the 81-year-old civil rights activist had been beaten and robbed in her Detroit home in 1994, he wanted to move her to a safer apartment. He decided to establish a trust to cover the housing expenses and continue paying her rent every single month until she died in 2005.
What’s more interesting about this story is that no one knew about Mike’s good deed because he never told anyone. It was only discovered some time after he passed away on February 10, 2017. The story came to light by a man named Damon Keith who was also a federal judge.
“They don’t go around saying it, but I want to, at this point, let them know, how much the Ilitches not only meant to the city, but they meant so much for Rosa Parks, who was the mother of the civil rights movement…”Damon Keith
Illitch was a native of Detroit, Michigan and was born July 20, 1929. He owned the NHL Detroit Red Wings and the MLB Detroit Tigers. Even though Illitch was one of the wealthiest people in the United States and owned the successful pizza chain, Little Caesars, he still focused on philanthropy. Illitch’s focus was on giving back to the community and he helped Rosa Parks in silence.
Rosa Parks moved to Detroit shortly after the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. She became an import figure in the city but in 1994, she was assaulted and robbed in her own home. It’s sad to think that someone took harm Rosa Parks, an amazing women who did so much good for people. Keith was an important legal figure in the civil rights movement and heard about the assault and robbery of Parks and decided to help. He helped her find a new and safer apartment as reported by the Sports Business Daily.
Illitch read the story in the paper about Keith helping Parks find an apartment in a safer part of Detroit and decided to pay for Parks’ housing indefinitely. Some people might say that this story is replayed over too many times but it’s an important part of history that should never be forgotten. It shows people that you can always do something to help another person’s life. This generous deed was selfless and Illitch didn’t do it for fame or praise. He did it because that is what being a human is about… helping people. These stories are often buried amongst the sea of negative news out there but you can never get enough good news. As always, stay Inspired.