Marian graduated from Fordson High School in Dearborn, Mich., and attended Dearborn Community College where she studied liberal arts and completed one accounting class.
Marian and her husband Mike grew a mom-and-pop pizza business in a suburb of Detroit into the world’s largest carry-out pizza chain, Little Caesars, with restaurants on five continents. As Little Caesars has grown, Marian Ilitch has branched out into other areas such as: food distribution, sports, arena and entertainment management, real estate development, and casino gaming.
As an avid hockey fan, Marian accepted the challenge of taking a downtrodden professional hockey team and trying to turn it into a powerhouse when she and her husband purchased the Detroit Red Wings in 1982. Under their ownership, the Red Wings have won 15 divisional championships, six President’s Trophies (for the season best record among all NHL teams), five Campbell Bowls for Western Conference championships and four Stanley Cups. The Red Wings have played post-season hockey for 18 consecutive years – the best record in all of professional sports.
Marian and her husband Mike became pioneers in the redevelopment of downtown Detroit when they purchased the Fox theatre building, renovated the theatre and adjacent office building and brought their Little Caesars world headquarters downtown.
In 1999, Marian and her husband formed Ilitch Holdings, Inc., to provide professional services to their primary business interests.