Ilitch was 87 years old.

Iltich started his empire with a pizza company called Little Caesars back in 1959. The Detroit native started the company after a minor league stint with the Detroit Tigers, as well as the Yankees and Washington Senators' organizations.

His success with his pizza company led him to purchase the Detroit Red Wings for $8 million in 1982. 10 years later he purchased the Detroit Tigers for an undisclosed amount from a rival pizza owner, Tom Monaghan of Domino's Pizza.

While owner of those respective teams he oversaw four Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Championships, as well as two World Series appearances for the Tigers. He oversaw the Tigers moving into what is still their current home in Comerica Park back in 2000 and coming up this offseason would have overseen the Detroit Red wings moving into their new home in the Little Caesars Arena.

Ilitch is in both the Hockey Hall of Fame (class of 2003) and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame (class of 2004). His philanthropy outside of sports also sees his name on the campus of Wayne State University, with the Mike Ilitch School of Business.

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