(WXYZ) - Local leaders are issuing statements on the passing of Mike Ilitch.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan released the following:
Mike Ilitch was more than just a shrewd, successful businessman. He was a Detroiter through-and-through. Whether he was making pizza, building successful sports and entertainment franchises or supporting youth organizations in our city, "Mr. I" helped to bring thousands of jobs and opportunities to our city and attract millions of dollars of investment.
More than all of this, he was a family man. I know how Mike Ilitch adored his family and how his family adores him. My heart goes out to Marian, their children and the entire Ilitch family at this difficult time.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans issued the following statement:
I was saddened to learn this evening of Mike Ilitch's passing. As an entrepreneur, he grew a Garden City pizzeria into an international business. As a sportsman and family man of the highest quality, our community was blessed to have him. He's forever left an indelible impact on the city and all who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Ilitch and their family. "Mr. I" will be missed.
Governor Rick Snyder has issued the following statement:
Mike Ilitch stood as a powerhouse in so many ways across Michigan, and we are a better state today because of the positive differences he made in our communities. He was a strong businessman, an innovative leader, and a loving family man. He was passionate about the city of Detroit and served a critical role in the city’s comeback, investing time, effort, and resources to help craft a better vision for Detroit.
Whether at Comerica Park, the Fox Theatre, or a Red Wings playoff game, Mike had a role in helping create some of our favorite memories, and he will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Over the years, Sue and I have become good friends with the Ilitch family, and we will miss Mike dearly. On behalf of the state of Michigan, we offer our heartfelt condolences to Mike’s wife, Marian, and his entire family. We ask you to keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.
Rip Rapson, President & CEO, The Kresge Foundation issued the following statement:
Mike Ilitch saw the bright possibilities of Detroit’s Woodward Corridor at a time that other investors had fully turned their backs on the city. Revitalizing the historic Fox Theatre and relocating his business headquarters to the city were bold moves, but ones that ultimately set downtown on a course for incredible investment and remarkable transformation. While our hearts are heavy tonight with his passing, we celebrate Mr. Ilitch’s legacy and unwavering belief in Detroit and its people.
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores tweeted the following:
On behalf of the Martha Ford Family and the Detroit Lions, we extend our deepest and most sincere sympathies to the Ilitch Family and to the Red Wings, Tigers, Little Caesars and Olympia Entertainment organizations on the passing of Mike Ilitch.
Mr. Ilitch's many positive contributions to our city and region will be everlasting and will greatly impact future generations of our community. His leadership of the Red Wings and Tigers truly set a standard of excellence.
We send our thoughts and prayers to the Ilitch Family and to every member of the Red Wings, Tigers, Little Caesars and Olympia Entertainment organizations.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell issued the following statement:
Mike Ilitch was a giant for Detroit and Southeast Michigan who spent his life nurturing and giving back to the city and state he loved. His drive and vision - and passion for sports - helped contribute to the revival of downtown Detroit, helped make us the pizza capital of the world, and brought us four Stanley Cups and two trips to the World Series. Through it all, Mike never lost touch. He was a real guy, and as much as he loved Detroit, his true love was his wife Marian and their seven children. John and I were honored to call Mike a friend, and our prayers are with Marian and the family.
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