(1929 - )
Mike Ilitch was born in Yugoslavia in 1929, immigrated to the U.S., played baseball for the Detroit Tigers farm team, worked in several jobs including as a door to door salesman. He began cooking in the back kitchen of a Detroit nightclub, saved up his money and opened his own restaurant in 1959 in Garden City, Michigan. Mike Illitch's wife Marian named his restaurant Little Ceasars Pizza.
The company was very successful - in 1982 Ilitch was able to buy the Detroit Red Wings hockey team and in 1992 he purchased the Detroit Tigers baseball.