Case 6

Muhammad Ali

Celebrated Boxer and Sportsman of the Century

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)
Born: Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.


Cassius Clay won his first Gold Medal in boxing in 1960 at the age of 18.  He went on to win the heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset in 1964 and remained leading heavyweight boxer of the 20th century.  In 1974 the Foreman/Ali fight, The Rumble in the Jungle, which took place in Africa, was watched by an estimated record television audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide.


He converted to Islam in 1961 and later changed his name to Muhammad Ali.  He stood his ground against being drafted into the army, was a meaningful social activist for civil rights, and also was a prolific creative talent.   He was known for his free-style rhymes which some say were the precursor to hip hop.   


In 1984 he announced that he was suffering from Parkinson's syndrome.  He remains one of the most recognized sports heroes around the world.