Little Caesars founder dies at 87

(CNN)--He launched a worldwide restaurant empire who's "pizza, pizza" catchphrase became ubiquitous. Mike Ilitch, Little Ceasers founder and owner of the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings, died Friday at a hospital in the Motor City. He was 87.

"My father was a once-in-a-generation entrepreneur, visionary and leader, setting the tone for our organization and our family. He made such a positive impact in the world of sports, in business and in the community," said Ilitch's son Christopher, who is president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, the umbrella company for Ilitch's business empire.
Ilitch's cause of death has not been released.
Ilitch is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, as well as seven adult children, 22 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Ilitch had deep roots in Detroit, and his son says his "passion" for the city will loom large in his legacy.
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