Detroit icon paid Rosa Parks’ rent

Rosa Parks acknowledges a standing ovation on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Jan. 19, 1999, after President Clinton spoke of her during his State of the Union address. Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore is at left. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

The mark of true charity is that which occurs without fanfare.

Mike Ilitch, who died last Friday, provided an example that only is becoming known — or at least, well known — after his death.

He paid Rosa Parks’ rent.

Ilitch, who founded the Little Caesars pizza chain and owned the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings, started paying the civil rights’ icons rent after she was robbed in Detroit.

The Sports Business Daily first revealed the charity in 2014.

On Aug. 31, 1994, Parks, then 81, was robbed and assaulted in her home in central Detroit. (US Court of Appeals judge Judge Damon) Keith called real estate developer Alfred Taubman, the owner of Riverfront Apartments, about finding a safer home for Parks. Taubman pledged to find the best home available.

When Ilitch read about Keith’s plan and Taubman’s promise in the newspaper, he called the judge and said he would pay for Parks’ housing for as long as necessary. (Parks passed away in 2005 at the age of 92). Keith served as the executor of the trust established for Parks’ housing.