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Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed May 8, 2024 as Marian Ilitch Day. On May 8, 1959, Marian and Mike Ilitch opened the first Little Caesars store in Garden City, Michigan, marking a significant milestone in entrepreneurism in Michigan. 

“Marian Ilitch is a trailblazing leader in business, a loving mother and grandmother, and a pillar in her community,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Through her efforts to support education and entrepreneurship, she has empowered Michiganders in every corner of our state. On Marian Ilitch Day, I encourage every Michigander to uplift the small business owners who are the backbone of our state’s economy.”  

An accomplished businesswoman and philanthropist, Marian Ilitch has dedicated her life to entrepreneurship, community development, and fostering economic growth within our state. In addition to her ownership of Little Caesars, the Detroit Red Wings and other businesses, Marian and her husband in 1985 established a mobile pizza restaurant, the Little Caesars Love Kitchen that has fed more than 6.5 million people across the U.S and Canada. They also established Ilitch Charities, a non-profit organization that has sponsored numerous programs for hundreds of children in the Detroit area and beyond. Previously a partial owner of MotorCity Casino Hotel, in 2005, Marian took full ownership, keeping the revenue in the state of Michigan, benefitting local residents. It remains the only casino in Detroit where that is the case.