Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 195 Marian Ilitch $8.94B

Random fact: Gifted nearly $50 million to Detroit's Wayne State University.


Ilitch owns Little Caesars, the third-largest pizza chain in the U.S. The Detroit-based company has more than 3,600 outlets and expected retail sales of about $4.3 billion in 2018. The Ilitch family also controls the MotorCity Casino as well as the Detroit Tigers, a baseball team, and hockey's the Detroit Red Wings.

As of :
Last change +$65.3M ( +0.7%)
YTD change +$132M ( +1.5%)
Industry Food & Beverage
Biggest asset Little Caesars
Citizenship United States
Age 87
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Marian Ilitch's net worth of $8.94B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The Ilitch family fortune is derived from Little Caesars, the third-largest pizza chain in the U.S., according to a 2018 report from market researcher IBISWorld. Marian Ilitch co-founded the closely held business with her late husband, Michael, in 1959, and since his death in February 2017 has been credited with full ownership of the business, as well as the family's other assets, which are held by Ilitch Holdings. 

Little Caesar's was expected to sell $4.3 billion worth of pizza in 2018, according to IBISWorld. Revenue is derived by discounting this retail sales figure in line with the average share of sales for franchisees of two publicly traded peer companies, Domino's and Papa John's. Little Caesars is valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales and price-to-earnings multiples of these two peers.

The Ilitch family also owns all of Detroit casino MotorCity, which is valued at 7.5 times estimated Ebitda. MotorCity revenue was provided by the Michigan Gaming Control Board and Ebitda was derived using margins reported by rival MGM Grand Detroit. The Ebitda multiple was determined in consultation with Brian Eggers, a gaming analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.

They also own the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings, and an event and venue management business, Olympia Entertainment. The teams are valued using an October 2018 assessment from Anderson Economic Group, a consulting firm that specializes in valuations of franchised industries. Olympia, which includes Detroit's Fox Theater, isn't valued separately. A liability is applied to account for the cost of acquiring the assets.


Birthdate: 1/1/1933
Family: Widowed, 7 children

Born in Dearborn, Michigan, Ilitch started out in the food business as a young girl working at her father's restaurant. After graduating from Fordson High School, she attended Dearborn Community College where she studied liberal arts.

Ilitch met her husband, Michael, on a blind date set up by Michael's father. Months later, the two got married. Marian and Michael Ilitch invested their life savings of $10,000 to open their first pizza store in Garden City, Michigan in 1959. The company grew to be the third-largest pizza chain in the U.S. based on the number of restaurants and total sales.

The Ilitch family has donated millions of dollars to philanthropic organizations and founded the Ilitch Charities in 2000.

  • 1933 Marian Ilitch is born in Dearborn, Michigan, to Macedonian immigrants.
  • 1954 Marries her late husband and co-founder, Mike Ilitch.
  • 1959 Marian and Michael invest their life savings into their first pizza store.
  • 1962 First Little Caesars franchise opens in Warren, Michigan.
  • 1982 Purchases the Detroit Red Wings with her late husband, Michael Ilitch, in 1982.
  • 2000 Family launches Ilitch Charities.
  • 2005 Becomes sole owner of MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 2016 Little Caesars lands a naming rights deal with a new Detroit sporting venue.