Holiday Inn President, influential Memphian dies at 75

Holiday Inn President, influential Memphian dies at 75

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A well-known executive from the Bluff City has died.

Michael D. Rose passed away Sunday at the age of 75.

Rose came to Memphis in 1974. Within a few years he began making a significant impact.

He shot up the ranks of Holiday Inn when it was based in Memphis. He became president of the hotel company, and he is credited with helping the company regain strength in the late 70s and early 80s.

Rose was an active Rotary Club member during his time in Memphis. He believed in volunteering and always encouraged his Holiday Inn employees to volunteer across the Bluff City.

"One of those unique individuals that had not only the smarts but the interest of the community at heart," former Shelby County Mayor Jim Rout said.

Rout remembers how Rose offered to help build a soccer complex east of Memphis.

"He said he was going to do it; he did it; and it was really 50 percent of the funds that really helped the county," Rout said.

The multimillion dollar complex bearing Rose's name is located off Forest Hill Irene Road. The complex is home to countless local, state, and regional soccer tournaments.

Rose was also a big supporter of the University of Memphis and its athletics. The Mike Rose Theatre is named in his honor.

U of M released the following statement on Rose's passing.

The University of Memphis family was saddened to learn of the death of Michael D. Rose. The businessman, attorney and philanthropist was a longtime supporter of the University. "We offer our sincerest sympathies to the Rose family," said UofM President M. David Rudd. "His generosity extended not only to the University but throughout the Memphis community."

Kevin Kane, the head of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, spent time with Rose personally and professionally. He said Rose's passion and commitment to his family and his city were unparalleled.

"He gave millions in this community through the Rose foundation," Kane said. "Even before there was a foundation, he invested heavily into making Memphis a better place."

Hospitality executive, philanthropist, and community leader--Mike Rose leaves behind a life and legacy for future Memphians to enjoy in his adopted hometown.

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