That’s right, a champion of the highest caliber—Mike Ilitch.
For those of you who don’t know, the man behind the Tigers and the Red Wings, Mike Ilitch, died last Friday. He was 87 years old, and a giant of a man in Michigan.
His life, other than owning the Tigers, Red Wings, and Little Caesar’s Pizza, was outstanding. He was a star athlete in high school, and served as a United States Marine. He rose to the AAA minors in baseball before a knee injury stopped his career. He worked hard to save the $10,000 he needed to start his famous Little Caesar’s Pizza Pizza chain! He even bought the famous Fox Theatre, which had fallen into disrepair since its opening in 1928, and brought it back to life. And his charities are too numerous to name in one post.
He worked on several projects that have helped return Detroit to a city on the rise instead of a city dying day by day. Mike Ilitch has been the face of the new Detroit for years.
Why should any of this matter to you, the writer?
If you don’t give a hoot about the Tigers, could care less about the Red Wings, and pizza’s off your no-carb diet, you still have this takeaway.
Your characters must be more than simply this: handsome, attractive, ripped muscles, pouty lips, coy smile, rugged good looks and so on. Your characters must have a past and hope for a future. They must have foods they like, don’t like. They must have served or not served their communities. You have to give them a life that is three-dimensional. Why are they the way they are? What made them be so giving, so selfish, lusty, conservative—liberal?
We don’t need a laundry list of items, but we have to give our readers a hint as to why and how our characters behave as they do. Mike Ilitch. The son of immigrant parents. He loved Detroit. He did more for the comeback of Detroit than any other one man. Not only for sports, but the fine arts, and most importantly, for the people of Detroit. He didn’t give it lip service. He put his money where his mouth was and he helped grow a new Detroit!
We’ll miss you Mike! May you have God’s resting peace.