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Detroit Tigers, Red Wings Owner Mike Ilitch Dies at Age 87

Photo: AP/Mike Slocum

February 10, 2017 06:41 PM

Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who founded the Little Caesars Pizza empire, has died. He was 87.

Family spokesman Doug Kuiper says Ilitch died Friday at a hospital.

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Ilitch and his wife opened their first Little Caesars restaurant in suburban Detroit in 1959, and the business eventually grew into the world's largest carry-out pizza chain.

Ilitch paid a reported $8 million for the Detroit Red Wings 1982, and the team won at least four championships under his ownership.

A decade later, Ilitch paid $85 million for the Detroit Tigers and began pumping money into player salaries. The Tigers advanced to the World Series in 2006, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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