I love this story. It displays the grace and greatness of American humanity and decency. It’s a truly remarkable story that almost no one knew about while it was happening in real-time and few know about it even now.

Many that have heard about it over the past 8 years think that it’s an urban legend. It’s not. It’s true.

Mike Ilitch, the founder of Little Caesars Pizza and owner of the Detroit Tigers owner had a major impact on the life of one of the most iconic figures from America’s Civil Rights movement.

Word about what Illitch did only surfaced only after he died. Most Americans still don’t know that he did a most amazing and generous gesture.

No more suspense. For more than a decade, Ilitch paid for civil rights icon Rosa Parks' apartment and other expenses in downtown Detroit, according to CNN affiliate WXYZ.

In fact, Ilitch paid for Parks’ expenses for the rest of her life.

In 1994, Parks was robbed and assaulted in her home at the age of 81. The attacker and bandit made it with $53.

Judge Damon Keith stepped up and went about finding a safer, newer apartment for Parks to live in, according to USA Today.

When Ilitch heard that Parks had been attacked, he contacted Keith and pledge to cover her expenses for as long as it was needed.

Without Keith, this would have remained a secret forever.

"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," Keith told CNN affiliate WXYZ.

Parks would go on to live in the apartment until 2005, more than a decade.

It stayed a secret until 2014 when Keith revealed to Sports Business Daily the original 1994 check in the amount of $2,000, paid by Little Caesars Enterprises to the Riverfront Apartments.


“At the bus stop on this site on December 1. 1955.
Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to
boarding whites. This brought about her arrest.
conviction, and fine. The Boycott began December
5, the day of Parks trial, as a protest by
African-Americans for unequal treatment they
received on the bus line. Refusing to ride the
buses, they maintained the Boycott until the U.S.
Supreme Court ordered integration of public
transportation one year later. Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. led the Boycott, the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.”

SOURCES: CNN affiliate WXYZ and USA Today.

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in New Jersey

The 10 free bridges from New Jersey to Pennsylvania (and vice versa!)

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission oversees many of these free crossings, and their method is one that is a foreign concept to those in charge in the Garden State. The group, which is a bi-state agency appointed by officials in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, uses revenue generated from larger, more heavily trafficked crossings to maintain the free ones.

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM