The Amazing Mike Illitch July 20, 1929-February 10, 2017

Mike Illitch passed away today at 87. Mr. Illitch will be sadly missed. Mr. Illitch was Detroit's biggest cheerleader and invested so much back into the city he loved, Detroit, Michigan.

Mike and Marian Ilitch hoist the Stanley Cup on June 16, 1998 in Washington, D.C. after the Red Wings won their second consecutive NHL title by sweeping the Capitals. Vyacheslav Kozlov is at left.

Before his death, the Ilitch organization had embarked on a massive $1.2-billion District Detroit project, transforming dozens of blocks of largely vacant land in downtown Detroit into a vibrant neighborhood that will include office, retail and residential spaces, as well as the new Little Caesars arena. The project will continue under the leadership of his son, Christopher Ilitch, who became president and CEO last year, amid reports of Mike's ailing health.

Ilitch was at the center of Detroit's downtown redevelopment efforts; he purchased and renovated the Fox Theatre and relocated his business headquarters (Ilitch Holdings) there. He also owned Olympia Entertainment.

He bought the Red Wings and brought them back to life. Then when the Tigers were suffering under the ownership of another pizza mogul, Illitch bought the Tigers. The fans rejoiced!

Ilitch is survived by his wife and business partner, Marian, and seven adult children, Christopher Ilitch, Denise Ilitch, Atanas Ilitch, Mike Ilitch Jr., Lisa Ilitch Murray, Ronald Tyrus Ilitch, Carole Ilitch Trepeck


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