Caitlin Flynn
Updated Feb 15, 2017 @ 2:43 pm
Credit: Geri Lavrov/Getty Images

Mike Ilitch passed away last week, and he leaves behind a legacy that’s far more important than pizza and baseball — the Detroit Tigers owner and Little Caesars founder quietly made a beautiful contribution to society and he didn’t want any recognition for it. In the day’s since Ilitch’s death, the community has been fondly remembering his impact on Detroit and its residents — but one particular act of kindness really stands out.

The Little Caesars founder paid for Rosa Parks’ housing for over a decade after she was robbed and assaulted in her home in 1994.

Damon Keith, a federal judge in Detroit who helped Parks find a new apartment after the incident, says Ilitch called him to say he’d pay the civil rights icon’s rent for as long as necessary.

Credit: Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Parks relocated from Montgomery, Alabama to Detroit after sparking the famous bus boycott, and she was an important figure in the city for the rest of her life.

When Parks fell on hard times, Ilitch immediately stepped in — and he paid her rent until her death in 2005.

Credit: Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Ilitich, who was born and raised in Detroit, was devoted to making his hometown a better place — and Keith credits him with transforming the city.

Rest in Peace, Mike Ilitch — thank you for reminding us just how much kindness is out there.