Muhammad Ali: Muhammad Ali is an American Professional Boxer “Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee” Heavyweight Boxing Champion of The World.
|Ali in 1967|
|Born||Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.|
January 17, 1942
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||June 3, 2016 (aged 74)|
Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
|Resting place||Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky|
|Monuments||Muhammad Ali CenterMuhammad Ali Mural, Los Angeles|
|Education||Central High School (1958)|
(m. 1964; div. 1966)Belinda Boyd
(m. 1967; div. 1977)Veronica Porché Ali
(m. 1977; div. 1986)Yolanda Williams
|Children||9, including Laila Ali|
|Parent(s)||Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr.Odessa Grady Clay|
|Relatives||Rahman Ali (brother)|
|Awards||Awards and accolades|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Reach||78 in (198 cm)|
|Wins by KO||37|
|Medal record[hide]Men’s amateur boxingRepresenting United StatesOlympic Games1960 RomeLight heavyweight|
Muhammad Ali (/ɑːˈliː/; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. Nicknamed “The Greatest,” he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics, and turned professional later that year. He converted to Islam and became a Muslim after 1961, and eventually took the name Muhammad Ali. He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset at age 22 in 1964. In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion, and stripped of his boxing titles. He appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, but he had not fought for nearly four years and lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. His actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation, and he was a high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement. As a Muslim, Ali was initially affiliated with Elijah Muhammad‘s Nation of Islam (NOI). He later disavowed the NOI, adhering to Sunni Islam, and supporting racial integration like his former mentor Malcolm X.
Ali was a leading heavyweight boxer of the 20th century, and he remains the only three-time lineal champion of that division. His joint records of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title and winning 14 unified title bouts stood for 35 years.[note 1] Ali is the only boxer to be named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times. He has been ranked the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, and as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, and the third greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury. He was involved in several historic boxing matches and feuds, most notably his fights with Joe Frazier, such as the Thrilla in Manila, and his fight with George Foreman known as The Rumble in the Jungle which has been called “arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century” and was watched by a record estimated television audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide, becoming the world’s most-watched live television broadcast at the time. Ali thrived in the spotlight at a time when many fighters let their managers do the talking, and he was often provocative and outlandish. He was known for trash-talking, and often free-styled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, anticipating elements of hip hop.
Outside the ring, Ali attained success as a musician, where he received two Grammy nominations. He also featured as an actor and writer, releasing two autobiographies. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and focused on religion and charity. In 1984, he made public his diagnosis of Parkinson’s syndrome, which some reports attribute to boxing-related injuries, though he and his specialist physicians disputed this. He remained an active public figure globally, but in his later years made increasingly limited public appearances as his condition worsened, and he was cared for by his family. Ali died on June 3, 2016.
- 1Early life and amateur career
- 2Professional boxing
- 2.1Early career
- 2.2World heavyweight champion
- 2.3Exile and comeback
- 2.4World heavyweight champion (second reign)
- 2.5Later career
- 3Personal life
- 4Vietnam War and resistance to the draft
- 5Entertainment career
- 6Later years
- 10See also
- 13Further reading
- 14External links
Early life and amateur career
Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. (/ˈkæʃəs/) was born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. He had a sister and four brothers. He was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. (1912–1990), who himself was named in honor of the 19th-century Republican politician and staunch abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay, also from the state of Kentucky. Clay’s father’s paternal grandparents were John Clay and Sallie Anne Clay; Clay’s sister Eva claimed that Sallie was a native of Madagascar. He was a descendant of slaves of the antebellum South, and was predominantly of African descent, with smaller amounts of Irish and English family heritage. Ali’s maternal grandfather, Abe Grady, emigrated from Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland. DNA testing performed in 2018 showed that, through his paternal grandmother, Ali was a descendant of the former slave Archer Alexander, who had been chosen from the building crew as the model of a freed man for the Emancipation Memorial, and was the subject of abolitionist William Greenleaf Eliot‘s book, The Story of Archer Alexander: From Slavery to Freedom. Like Ali, Alexander fought for his freedom.
His father was a sign and billboard painter, and his mother, Odessa O’Grady Clay (1917–1994), was a domestic helper. Although Cassius Sr. was a Methodist, he allowed Odessa to bring up both Cassius Jr. and his younger brother, Rudolph “Rudy” Clay (later renamed Rahman Ali), as Baptists. Cassius Jr. attended Central High School in Louisville. He was dyslexic, which led to difficulties in reading and writing, at school and for much of his life. Ali grew up amid racial segregation. His mother recalled one occasion when he was denied a drink of water at a store—”They wouldn’t give him one because of his color. That really affected him.” He was also affected by the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, which led to young Clay and a friend taking out their frustration by vandalizing a local rail yard.
1960 Olympians: Ali won gold against Zbigniew Pietrzykowski.
Ali was first directed toward boxing by Louisville police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin, who encountered the 12-year-old fuming over a thief’s having taken his bicycle. He told the officer he was going to “whup” the thief. The officer told Clay he had better learn how to box first. Initially, Clay did not take up Martin’s offer, but after seeing amateur boxers on a local television boxing program called Tomorrow’s Champions, Clay was interested in the prospect of fighting. He then began to work with trainer Fred Stoner, whom he credits with giving him the “real training”, eventually molding “my style, my stamina and my system.” For the last four years of Clay’s amateur career he was trained by boxing cutman Chuck Bodak.
Clay made his amateur boxing debut in 1954 against local amateur boxer Ronnie O’Keefe. He won by split decision. He went on to win six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union national title, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Clay’s amateur record was 100 wins with five losses. Ali said in his 1975 autobiography that shortly after his return from the Rome Olympics, he threw his gold medal into the Ohio River after he and a friend were refused service at a “whites-only” restaurant and fought with a white gang. The story was later disputed, and several of Ali’s friends, including Bundini Brown and photographer Howard Bingham, denied it. Brown told Sports Illustrated writer Mark Kram, “Honkies sure bought into that one!” Thomas Hauser‘s biography of Ali stated that Ali was refused service at the diner but that he lost his medal a year after he won it. Ali received a replacement medal at a basketball intermission during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he lit the torch to start the games.
On-site poster for Cassius Clay’s fifth professional bout
Clay made his professional debut on October 29, 1960, winning a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker. From then until the end of 1963, Clay amassed a record of 19–0 with 15 wins by knockout. He defeated boxers including Tony Esperti, Jim Robinson, Donnie Fleeman, Alonzo Johnson, George Logan, Willi Besmanoff, LaMar Clark, Doug Jones and Henry Cooper. Clay also beat his former trainer and veteran boxer Archie Moore in a 1962 match.
These early fights were not without trials. Clay was knocked down by both Sonny Banks and Cooper. In the Cooper fight, Clay was floored by a left hook at the end of round four and was saved by the bell, going on to win in the predicted 5th round due to Cooper’s severely cut eye. The fight with Doug Jones on March 13, 1963 was Clay’s toughest fight during this stretch. The number two and three heavyweight contenders respectively, Clay and Jones fought on Jones’ home turf at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Jones staggered Clay in the first round, and the unanimous decision for Clay was greeted by boos and a rain of debris thrown into the ring. Watching on closed-circuit TV, heavyweight champ Sonny Liston quipped that if he fought Clay he might get locked up for murder. The fight was later named “Fight of the Year” by The Ring magazine.
In each of these fights, Clay vocally belittled his opponents and vaunted his abilities. He called Jones “an ugly little man” and Cooper a “bum”. He said he was embarrassed to get in the ring with Alex Miteff and claimed that Madison Square Garden was “too small for me.” His provocative and outlandish behavior in the ring was inspired by professional wrestler “Gorgeous George” Wagner. Ali stated in a 1969 interview with the Associated Press’ Hubert Mizel that he met with Gorgeous George in Las Vegas in 1961 and that the wrestler inspired him to use wrestling jargon when he did interviews.
In 1960 Clay left Moore’s camp, partially due to Clay’s refusal to do chores such as washing dishes and sweeping. To replace Moore, Clay hired Angelo Dundee to be his trainer. Clay had met Dundee in February 1957 during Clay’s amateur career. Around this time, Clay sought longtime idol Sugar Ray Robinson to be his manager, but was rebuffed.
World heavyweight champion
Fights against Liston
Main article: Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston
By late 1963, Clay had become the top contender for Sonny Liston’s title. The fight was set for February 25, 1964, in Miami Beach. Liston was an intimidating personality, a dominating fighter with a criminal past and ties to the mob. Based on Clay’s uninspired performance against Jones and Cooper in his previous two fights, and Liston’s destruction of former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson in two first-round knock outs, Clay was a 7–1 underdog. Despite this, Clay taunted Liston during the pre-fight buildup, dubbing him “the big ugly bear”, stating “Liston even smells like a bear” and claiming “After I beat him I’m going to donate him to the zoo.” Clay turned the pre-fight weigh-in into a circus, shouting at Liston that “someone is going to die at ringside tonight.” Clay’s pulse rate was measured at 120, more than double his normal 54. Many of those in attendance thought Clay’s behavior stemmed from fear, and some commentators wondered if he would show up for the bout.
The outcome of the fight was a major upset. At the opening bell, Liston rushed at Clay, seemingly angry and looking for a quick knockout. However, Clay’s superior speed and mobility enabled him to elude Liston, making the champion miss and look awkward. At the end of the first round, Clay opened up his attack and hit Liston repeatedly with jabs. Liston fought better in round two, but at the beginning of the third round Clay hit Liston with a combination that buckled his knees and opened a cut under his left eye. This was the first time Liston had ever been cut. At the end of round four, Clay was returning to his corner when he began experiencing blinding pain in his eyes and asked his trainer, Angelo Dundee, to cut off his gloves. Dundee refused. It has been speculated that the problem was due to ointment used to seal Liston’s cuts, perhaps deliberately applied by his corner to his gloves. Though unconfirmed, boxing historian Bert Sugar said that two of Liston’s opponents also complained about their eyes “burning”.
Despite Liston’s attempts to knock out a blinded Clay, Clay was able to survive the fifth round until sweat and tears rinsed the irritation from his eyes. In the sixth, Clay dominated, hitting Liston repeatedly. Liston did not answer the bell for the seventh round, and Clay was declared the winner by TKO. Liston stated that the reason he quit was an injured shoulder. Following the win, a triumphant Clay rushed to the edge of the ring and, pointing to the ringside press, shouted: “Eat your words!” He added, “I am the greatest! I shook up the world. I’m the prettiest thing that ever lived.”
At ringside post fight, Clay appeared unconvinced that the fight was stopped due to a Liston shoulder injury, saying that the only injury Liston had was “an open eye, a big cut eye!” When told by Joe Louis that the injury was a “left arm thrown out of its socket,” Clay quipped, “Yeah, swinging at nothing, who wouldn’t!”
In winning this fight at the age of 22, Clay became the youngest boxer to take the title from a reigning heavyweight champion. However, Floyd Patterson remained the youngest to win the heavyweight championship, doing so at the age 21 during an elimination bout following Rocky Marciano‘s retirement. Mike Tyson broke both records in 1986 when he defeated Trevor Berbick to win the heavyweight title at age 20.
Soon after the Liston fight, Clay changed his name to Cassius X, and then later to Muhammad Ali upon converting to Islam and affiliating with the Nation of Islam. Ali then faced a rematch with Liston scheduled for May 1965 in Lewiston, Maine. It had been scheduled for Boston the previous November, but was postponed for six months due to Ali’s emergency surgery for a hernia three days before. The fight was controversial. Midway through the first round, Liston was knocked down by a difficult-to-see blow the press dubbed a “phantom punch”. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott did not begin the count immediately after the knockdown, as Ali refused to retreat to a neutral corner. Liston rose after he had been down for about 20 seconds, and the fight momentarily continued. However a few seconds later Walcott, having been informed by the timekeepers that Liston had been down for a count of 10, stopped the match and declared Ali the winner by knockout. The entire fight lasted less than two minutes.
It has since been speculated that Liston purposely dropped to the ground. Proposed motivations include threats on his life from the Nation of Islam, that he had bet against himself and that he “took a dive” to pay off debts. Slow-motion replays show that Liston was jarred by a chopping right from Ali, although it is unclear whether the blow was a genuine knockout punch.
Fight against Patterson
Main article: Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson
Ali defended his title against former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson on November 22, 1965. Before the match, Ali mocked Patterson, who was widely known to call him by his former name Cassius Clay, as an “Uncle Tom“, calling him “The Rabbit”. Although Ali clearly had the better of Patterson, who appeared injured during the fight, the match lasted 12 rounds before being called on a technical knockout. Patterson later said he had strained his sacroiliac. Ali was criticized in the sports media for appearing to have toyed with Patterson during the fight. Patterson biographer W. K. Stratton claims that the conflict between Ali and Patterson was not genuine but was staged to increase ticket sales and the closed-circuit viewing audience, with both men complicit in the theatrics. Stratton also cites an interview by Howard Cosell in which Ali explained that rather than toying with Patterson, he refrained from knocking him out after it became apparent Patterson was injured. Patterson later said that he had never been hit by punches as soft as Ali’s. Stratton states that Ali arranged the second fight, in 1972, with the financially struggling Patterson to help the former champion earn enough money to pay a debt to the IRS.
After the Patterson fight, Ali founded his own promotion company, Main Bout. The company mainly handled Ali’s boxing promotions and pay-per-view closed-circuit television broadcasts. The company’s stockholders were mainly fellow Nation of Islam members, along with several others, including Bob Arum.
Ali in 1966
Ali and then-WBA heavyweight champion boxer Ernie Terrell had agreed to meet for a bout in Chicago on March 29, 1966 (the WBA, one of two boxing associations, had stripped Ali of his title following his joining the Nation of Islam). But in February Ali was reclassified by the Louisville draft board as 1-A from 1-Y, and he indicated that he would refuse to serve, commenting to the press, “I ain’t got nothing against no Viet Cong; no Viet Cong never called me nigger.” Amidst the media and public outcry over Ali’s stance, the Illinois Athletic Commission refused to sanction the fight, citing technicalities.
Ali returned to the United States to fight Cleveland Williams in the Houston Astrodome on November 14, 1966. The bout drew a record-breaking indoor crowd of 35,460 people. Williams had once been considered among the hardest punchers in the heavyweight division, but in 1964 he had been shot at point-blank range by a Texas policeman, resulting in the loss of one kidney and 3.0 metres (10 ft) of his small intestine. Ali dominated Williams, winning a third-round technical knockout in what some consider the finest performance of his career.
Ali fought Terrell in Houston on February 6, 1967. Terrell, who was unbeaten in five years and had defeated many of the boxers Ali had faced, was billed as Ali’s toughest opponent since Liston; he was big, strong and had a three-inch reach advantage over Ali. During the lead up to the bout, Terrell repeatedly called Ali “Clay”, much to Ali’s annoyance. The two almost came to blows over the name issue in a pre-fight interview with Howard Cosell. Ali seemed intent on humiliating Terrell. “I want to torture him”, he said. “A clean knockout is too good for him.” The fight was close until the seventh round, when Ali bloodied Terrell and almost knocked him out. In the eighth round, Ali taunted Terrell, hitting him with jabs and shouting between punches, “What’s my name, Uncle Tom … what’s my name?” Ali won a unanimous 15-round decision. Terrell claimed that early in the fight Ali deliberately thumbed him in the eye, forcing him to fight half-blind, and then, in a clinch, rubbed the wounded eye against the ropes. Because of Ali’s apparent intent to prolong the fight to inflict maximum punishment, critics described the bout as “one of the ugliest boxing fights.” Tex Maule later wrote: “It was a wonderful demonstration of boxing skill and a barbarous display of cruelty.” Ali denied the accusations of cruelty but, for Ali’s critics, the fight provided more evidence of his arrogance.
After Ali’s title defense against Zora Folley on March 22, he was stripped of his title due to his refusal to be drafted to army service. His boxing license was also suspended by the state of New York. He was convicted of draft evasion on June 20 and sentenced to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He paid a bond and remained free while the verdict was being appealed.
Exile and comeback
In March 1966, Ali refused to be inducted into the armed forces. He was systematically denied a boxing license in every state and stripped of his passport. As a result, he did not fight from March 1967 to October 1970—from ages 25 to almost 29—as his case worked its way through the appeals process before his conviction was overturned in 1971. During this time of inactivity, as opposition to the Vietnam War began to grow and Ali’s stance gained sympathy, he spoke at colleges across the nation, criticizing the Vietnam War and advocating African-American pride and racial justice.
The Super Fight
Main article: The Super Fight
While banned from sanctioned bouts, Ali settled a $1 million lawsuit against radio producer Murray Woroner by accepting $10,000 to appear in a privately staged fantasy fight against retired champion Rocky Marciano. In 1969 the boxers were filmed sparring for about 75 one-minute rounds; they acted out several different endings. A computer program purportedly determined the winner, based on data about the fighters. Edited versions of the bout were shown in movie theaters in 1970. In the U.S. version Ali lost in a simulated 13th-round knockout, but in the European version Marciano lost due to cuts, also simulated.
Ali suggested that prejudice determined his defeat in the U.S. version. He was reported to jokingly say, “That computer was made in Alabama.”
Return to prizefighting
On August 11, 1970, with his case still in appeal, Ali was granted a license to box by the City of Atlanta Athletic Commission. Leroy Johnson, Jesse Hill Jr. and Harry Pett had used their local political influence and set up the company House of Sports to organize the fight, underlining the influence power of Georgia’s black politics in Ali’ s comeback. Ali’s first return bout was against Jerry Quarry on October 26, resulting in a win after three rounds after Quarry was cut.
A month earlier, a victory in federal court forced the New York State Boxing Commission to reinstate Ali’s license. He fought Oscar Bonavena at Madison Square Garden in December, an uninspired performance that ended in a dramatic technical knockout of Bonavena in the 15th round. The win left Ali as a top contender against heavyweight champion Joe Frazier.
First fight against Joe Frazier
Main article: Fight of the Century
Ali and Frazier’s first fight, held at the Garden on March 8, 1971, was nicknamed the “Fight of the Century“, due to the tremendous excitement surrounding a bout between two undefeated fighters, each with a legitimate claim to be heavyweight champion. Veteran boxing writer John Condon called it “the greatest event I’ve ever worked on in my life.” The bout was broadcast to 35 foreign countries; promoters granted 760 press passes.
Adding to the atmosphere were the considerable pre-fight theatrics and name calling. Ali portrayed Frazier as a “dumb tool of the white establishment.” “Frazier is too ugly to be champ”, Ali said. “Frazier is too dumb to be champ.” Ali also frequently called Frazier an “Uncle Tom”. Dave Wolf, who worked in Frazier’s camp, recalled that, “Ali was saying ‘the only people rooting for Joe Frazier are white people in suits, Alabama sheriffs, and members of the Ku Klux Klan. I’m fighting for the little man in the ghetto.’ Joe was sitting there, smashing his fist into the palm of his hand, saying, ‘What the fuck does he know about the ghetto?'”
Ali began training at a farm near Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1971 and, finding the country setting to his liking, sought to develop a real training camp in the countryside. He found a five-acre site on a Pennsylvania country road in the village of Deer Lake, Pennsylvania. On this site, Ali carved out what was to become his training camp, where he trained for all his fights from 1972 to the end of his career in 1981.
The Monday night fight lived up to its billing. In a preview of their two other fights, a crouching, bobbing and weaving Frazier constantly pressured Ali, getting hit regularly by Ali jabs and combinations, but relentlessly attacking and scoring repeatedly, especially to Ali’s body. The fight was even in the early rounds, but Ali was taking more punishment than ever in his career. On several occasions in the early rounds he played to the crowd and shook his head “no” after he was hit. In the later rounds—in what was the first appearance of the “rope-a-dope strategy”—Ali leaned against the ropes and absorbed punishment from Frazier, hoping to tire him. In the 11th round, Frazier connected with a left hook that wobbled Ali, but because it appeared that Ali might be clowning as he staggered backwards across the ring, Frazier hesitated to press his advantage, fearing an Ali counter-attack. In the final round, Frazier knocked Ali down with a vicious left hook, which referee Arthur Mercante said was as hard as a man can be hit. Ali was back on his feet in three seconds. Nevertheless, Ali lost by unanimous decision, his first professional defeat.
Chamberlain challenge and Ellis fight
Main article: Muhammad Ali vs. Jimmy Ellis
In 1971, basketball star Wilt Chamberlain challenged Ali to a fight, and a bout was scheduled for July 26. Although the seven-foot-two-inch tall Chamberlain had formidable physical advantages over Ali—weighing 60 pounds more and able to reach 14 inches further—Ali was able to influence Chamberlain into calling off the bout by taunting him with calls of “Timber!” and “The tree will fall” during a shared interview. These statements of confidence unsettled his taller opponent, whom Los Angeles Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke had offered a record-setting contract, conditional on Chamberlain agreeing to abandon what Cooke termed “this boxing foolishness”, and he did exactly that. To replace Ali’s opponent, promoter Bob Arum quickly booked a former sparring partner of Ali’s, Jimmy Ellis, who was a childhood friend from Louisville, Kentucky, to fight him.
Fights against Quarry, Patterson, Foster and Norton
After the loss to Frazier, Ali fought Jerry Quarry, had a second bout with Floyd Patterson and faced Bob Foster in 1972, winning a total of six fights that year. In 1973, Ken Norton broke Ali’s jaw while giving him the second loss of his career. After initially considering retirement, Ali won a controversial decision against Norton in their second bout. This led to a rematch with Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 1974; Frazier had recently lost his title to George Foreman.
Second fight against Joe Frazier
Main article: Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier II
Ali was strong in the early rounds of the fight, and staggered Frazier in the second round. Referee Tony Perez mistakenly thought he heard the bell ending the round and stepped between the two fighters as Ali was pressing his attack, giving Frazier time to recover. However, Frazier came on in the middle rounds, snapping Ali’s head in round seven and driving him to the ropes at the end of round eight. The last four rounds saw round-to-round shifts in momentum between the two fighters. Throughout most of the bout, however, Ali was able to circle away from Frazier’s dangerous left hook and to tie Frazier up when he was cornered, the latter a tactic that Frazier’s camp complained of bitterly. Judges awarded Ali a unanimous decision.
World heavyweight champion (second reign)
The Rumble in the Jungle
Main article: The Rumble in the Jungle
The defeat of Frazier set the stage for a title fight against heavyweight champion George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30, 1974—a bout nicknamed The Rumble in the Jungle. Foreman was considered one of the hardest punchers in heavyweight history. In assessing the fight, analysts pointed out that Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, who had given Ali four tough battles and won two of them, had both been devastated by Foreman in second-round knockouts. Ali was 32 years old, and had clearly lost speed and reflexes since his twenties. Contrary to his later persona, Foreman was at the time a brooding and intimidating presence. Almost no-one associated with the sport, not even Ali’s long-time supporter Howard Cosell, gave the former champion a chance of winning.
Ali in 1974
As usual, Ali was confident and colorful before the fight. He told interviewer David Frost, “If you think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned, wait ’til I whup Foreman’s behind!” He told the press, “I’ve done something new for this fight. I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick.” Ali was wildly popular in Zaire, with crowds chanting “Ali, bomaye” (“Ali, kill him”) wherever he went.
Ali opened the fight moving and scoring with right crosses to Foreman’s head. Then, beginning in the second round, and to the consternation of his corner, Ali retreated to the ropes and invited Foreman to hit him while covering up, clinching and counter-punching, all while verbally taunting Foreman. The move, which would later become known as the “Rope-a-dope“, so violated conventional boxing wisdom—letting one of the hardest hitters in boxing strike at will—that at ringside writer George Plimpton thought the fight had to be fixed. Foreman, increasingly angered, threw punches that were deflected and did not land squarely. Midway through the fight, as Foreman began tiring, Ali countered more frequently and effectively with punches and flurries, which electrified the pro-Ali crowd. In the eighth round, Ali dropped an exhausted Foreman with a combination at center ring; Foreman failed to make the count. Against the odds, and amidst pandemonium in the ring, Ali had regained the title by knockout. Reflecting on the fight, George Foreman later said: “I thought Ali was just one more knockout victim until, about the seventh round, I hit him hard to the jaw and he held me and whispered in my ear: ‘That all you got, George?’ I realized that this ain’t what I thought it was.”
President Jimmy Carter greets Ali at a White House dinner, 1977.
It was a major upset victory, after Ali came in as a 4–1 underdog against the previously unbeaten, heavy-hitting Foreman. The fight became famous for Ali’s introduction of the rope-a-dope tactic. The fight was watched by a record estimated television audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide. It was the world’s most-watched live television broadcast at the time.
Fights against Wepner, Lyle and Bugner
Ali’s next opponents included Chuck Wepner, Ron Lyle, and Joe Bugner. Wepner, a journeyman known as “The Bayonne Bleeder”, stunned Ali with a knockdown in the ninth round; Ali would later say he tripped on Wepner’s foot. It was a bout that would inspire Sylvester Stallone to create the acclaimed film, Rocky.
Third fight against Joe Frazier
Main article: Thrilla in Manila
Ali then agreed to a third match with Joe Frazier in Manila. The bout, known as the “Thrilla in Manila“, was held on October 1, 1975, in temperatures approaching 100 °F (38 °C). In the first rounds, Ali was aggressive, moving and exchanging blows with Frazier. However, Ali soon appeared to tire and adopted the “rope-a-dope” strategy, frequently resorting to clinches. During this part of the bout Ali did some effective counter-punching, but for the most part absorbed punishment from a relentlessly attacking Frazier. In the 12th round, Frazier began to tire, and Ali scored several sharp blows that closed Frazier’s left eye and opened a cut over his right eye. With Frazier’s vision now diminished, Ali dominated the 13th and 14th rounds, at times conducting what boxing historian Mike Silver called “target practice” on Frazier’s head. The fight was stopped when Frazier’s trainer, Eddie Futch, refused to allow Frazier to answer the bell for the 15th and final round, despite Frazier’s protests. Frazier’s eyes were both swollen shut. Ali, in his corner, winner by TKO, slumped on his stool, clearly spent.
An ailing Ali said afterwards that the fight “was the closest thing to dying that I know”, and, when later asked if he had viewed the fight on videotape, reportedly said, “Why would I want to go back and see Hell?” After the fight he cited Frazier as “the greatest fighter of all times next to me.”
Following the Manila bout, Ali fought Jean-Pierre Coopman, Jimmy Young, and Richard Dunn, winning the last by knockout. The punch Ali used to knockout Dunn was taught to Ali by Taekwondo Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee. Rhee called that punch the “Accupunch”, he learnt it from Bruce Lee. The Dunn fight was the last time Ali would knock down an opponent in his boxing career.
On June 1, 1976, Ali removed his shirt and jacket and confronted professional wrestler Gorilla Monsoon in the ring after his match at a World Wide Wrestling Federation show in Philadelphia Arena. After dodging a few punches, Monsoon put Ali in an airplane spin and dumped him to the mat. Ali stumbled to the corner, where his associate Butch Lewis convinced him to walk away.
On June 26, 1976, Ali participated in an exhibition bout in Tokyo against Japanese professional wrestler and martial artist Antonio Inoki. Ali was only able to land two jabs while Inoki’s kicks caused two blood clots and an infection that almost resulted in Ali’s leg being amputated. The match was not scripted and ultimately declared a draw. After Ali’s death, The New York Times declared it his least memorable fight. Most boxing commentators at the time viewed the fight negatively and hoped it would be forgotten as some considered it a “15-round farce.” Today it is considered by some to be one of Ali’s most influential fights and CBS Sports said the attention the mixed-style bout received “foretold the arrival of standardized MMA years later.”
Ali fought Ken Norton for the third time in September 1976. The bout, which was held at Yankee Stadium, resulted in Ali winning a heavily contested decision that was loudly booed by the audience. Afterwards, he announced he was retiring from boxing to practice his faith, having converted to Sunni Islam after falling out with the Nation of Islam the previous year.
After returning to beat Alfredo Evangelista in May 1977, Ali struggled in his next fight against Earnie Shavers that September, getting pummeled a few times by punches to the head. Ali won the fight by another unanimous decision, but the bout caused his longtime doctor Ferdie Pacheco to quit after he was rebuffed for telling Ali he should retire. Pacheco was quoted as saying, “the New York State Athletic Commission gave me a report that showed Ali’s kidneys were falling apart. I wrote to Angelo Dundee, Ali’s trainer, his wife and Ali himself. I got nothing back in response. That’s when I decided enough is enough.”
In February 1978, Ali faced Leon Spinks at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas. At the time, Spinks had only seven professional fights to his credit, and had recently fought a draw with journeyman Scott LeDoux. Ali sparred less than two dozen rounds in preparation for the fight, and was seriously out of shape by the opening bell. He lost the title by split decision. A rematch occurred in September at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. 70,000 people attended the bout and paid a total of $6 million admission, making it the largest live gate in boxing history at that time. Ali won a unanimous decision in an uninspiring fight, with referee Lucien Joubert scoring rounds 10-4, judge Ernie Cojoe 10-4, and judge Herman Preis 11-4. This made Ali the first heavyweight champion to win the belt three times.
Following this win, on July 27, 1979, Ali announced his retirement from boxing. His retirement was short-lived, however; Ali announced his comeback to face Larry Holmes for the WBC belt in an attempt to win the heavyweight championship an unprecedented fourth time. The fight was largely motivated by Ali’s need for money. Boxing writer Richie Giachetti said, “Larry didn’t want to fight Ali. He knew Ali had nothing left; he knew it would be a horror.”
It was around this time that Ali started struggling with vocal stutters and trembling hands. The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) ordered that he undergo a complete physical in Las Vegas before being allowed to fight again. Ali chose instead to check into the Mayo Clinic, who declared him fit to fight. Their opinion was accepted by the NAC on July 31, 1980, paving the way for Ali’s return to the ring.
The fight took place on October 2, 1980, in Las Vegas Valley, with Holmes easily dominating Ali, who was weakened from thyroid medication he had taken to lose weight. Giachetti called the fight “awful … the worst sports event I ever had to cover.” Actor Sylvester Stallone was at ringside and said that it was like watching an autopsy on a man who is still alive. In the eleventh round, Angelo Dundee told the referee to stop the fight, making it the only time that Ali ever lost by stoppage. The Holmes fight is said to have contributed to Ali’s Parkinson’s syndrome. Despite pleas to definitively retire, Ali fought one last time on December 11, 1981, in Nassau, Bahamas, against Trevor Berbick, losing a ten-round decision.
By the end of his boxing career Ali had absorbed 200,000 hits.
Marriages and children
showChildren of Muhammad Ali
Ali was married four times and had seven daughters and two sons. Ali was introduced to cocktail waitress Sonji Roi by Herbert Muhammad and asked her to marry him after their first date. They were wed approximately one month later on August 14, 1964. They quarreled over Sonji’s refusal to adhere to strict Islamic dress and behavior codes, and her questioning of Elijah Muhammad’s teachings. According to Ali, “She wouldn’t do what she was supposed to do. She wore lipstick; she went into bars; she dressed in clothes that were revealing and didn’t look right.” The marriage was childless and they divorced on January 10, 1966. Just before the divorce was finalized, Ali sent Sonji a note: “You traded heaven for hell, baby.”
On August 17, 1967, Ali married Belinda Boyd. Born into a Chicago family that had converted to the Nation Of Islam, she later changed her name to Khalilah Ali, though she was still called Belinda by old friends and family. They had four children: author and rapper Maryum “May May” (born 1968); twins Jamillah and Rasheda (born 1970), who married Robert Walsh and has a son, Biaggio Ali, born in 1998; and Muhammad Ali, Jr. (born 1972).
Ali was a resident of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in the early 1970s. At age 32 in 1974, Ali began an illicit extramarital relationship with 16-year-old Wanda Bolton (who subsequently changed her name to Aaisha Ali) with whom he fathered another daughter, Khaliah (born 1974). While still married to Belinda, Ali married Aaisha in an Islamic ceremony that was not legally recognized. According to Khaliah, Aaisha and her mother lived at Ali’s Deer Lake training camp alongside Belinda and her children. In January 1985 Aaisha sued Ali for unpaid palimony. The case was settled when Ali agreed to set up a $200,000 trust fund for Khaliah. In 2001 Khaliah was quoted as saying she believed her father viewed her as “a mistake.” He had another daughter, Miya (born 1972), from an extramarital relationship with Patricia Harvell.
By the summer of 1977, his second marriage was over and he had married Veronica Porché. At the time of their marriage, they had a baby girl, Hana, and Veronica was pregnant with their second child. Their second daughter, Laila Ali, was born in December 1977. By 1986, Ali and Porché were divorced.
Muhammad and Lonnie Ali, 2001
On November 19, 1986, Ali married Yolanda (“Lonnie”) Williams. They had been friends since 1964 in Louisville. Together they adopted a son, Asaad Amin, when Asaad was five months old.
Kiiursti Mensah-Ali says she is Ali’s biological daughter with Barbara Mensah, with whom he allegedly had a 20-year relationship, citing photographs and a paternity test conducted in 1988. She said he accepted responsibility and took care of her, but all contacts with him were cut off after he married his fourth wife Lonnie. Kiiursti says she has a relationship with his other children. After his death she again made passionate appeals to be allowed to mourn at his funeral.
In 2010, Osmon Williams came forward claiming to be Ali’s biological son. His mother Temica Williams (also known as Rebecca Holloway) had launched a $3 million lawsuit against Ali in 1981 for sexual assault, claiming that she had started a sexual relationship with him when she was 12, and that her son Osmon (born 1977) was fathered by Ali. She further alleged that Ali had originally supported her and her son financially, but stopped doing so after four years. The case went on until 1986 and was eventually thrown out as her allegations were deemed to be barred by the statute of limitations. According to Veronica, Ali admitted to the affair with Williams, but did not believe Osmon was his son.
Ali then lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, with Lonnie. In January 2007 it was reported that they had put their home in Berrien Springs, Michigan, which they had bought in 1975, up for sale and had purchased a home in eastern Jefferson County, Kentucky for $1,875,000. Both homes were subsequently sold after Ali’s death with Lonnie living in their remaining home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Lonnie converted to Islam from Catholicism in her late twenties.
Ali’s daughter Laila was a professional boxer from 1999 until 2007, despite her father’s previous opposition to women’s boxing. In 1978 he said “Women are not made to be hit in the breast, and face like that … the body’s not made to be punched right here [patting his chest]. Get hit in the breast … hard … and all that.” Ali nevertheless attended a number of his daughter’s fights.
Religion and beliefs
Main article: Religious views of Muhammad Ali
Affiliation with the Nation of Islam
Ali said that he first heard of the Nation of Islam when he was fighting in the Golden Gloves tournament in Chicago in 1959, and attended his first Nation of Islam meeting in 1961. He continued to attend meetings, although keeping his involvement hidden from the public. In 1962, Clay met Malcolm X, who soon became his spiritual and political mentor. By the time of the first Liston fight, Nation of Islam members, including Malcolm X, were visible in his entourage. This led to a story in The Miami Herald just before the fight disclosing that Clay had joined the Nation of Islam, which nearly caused the bout to be canceled. The article quoted Cassius Clay Sr. as saying that his son had joined the Black Muslims when he was 18.
Ali (seen in background) at an address by Elijah Muhammad in 1964
In fact, Clay was initially refused entry to the Nation of Islam (often called the Black Muslims at the time) due to his boxing career. However, after he won the championship from Liston in 1964, the Nation of Islam was more receptive and agreed to publicize his membership. Shortly afterwards on March 6, Elijah Muhammad gave a radio address that Clay would be renamed Muhammad (one who is worthy of praise) Ali (most high). Around that time Ali moved to the south side of Chicago and lived in a series of houses, always near the Nation of Islam’s Mosque Maryam or Elijah Muhammad’s residence. He stayed in Chicago for about 12 years.
Only a few journalists (most notably Howard Cosell) accepted the new name at that time. Ali later announced: “Cassius Clay is my slave name.” Not afraid to antagonize the white establishment, Ali stated, “I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.” Ali’s friendship with Malcolm X ended as Malcolm split with the Nation of Islam a couple of weeks after Ali joined, and Ali remained with the Nation of Islam. Ali later said that turning his back on Malcolm was one of the mistakes he regretted most in his life.
Aligning himself with the Nation of Islam, its leader Elijah Muhammad, and a narrative that labeled the white race as the perpetrator of genocide against African Americans made Ali a target of public condemnation. The Nation of Islam was widely viewed by whites and some African Americans as a black separatist “hate religion” with a propensity toward violence; Ali had few qualms about using his influential voice to speak Nation of Islam doctrine. In a press conference articulating his opposition to the Vietnam War, Ali stated, “My enemy is the white people, not Viet Cong or Chinese or Japanese.” In relation to integration, he said: “We who follow the teachings of Elijah Muhammad don’t want to be forced to integrate. Integration is wrong. We don’t want to live with the white man; that’s all.”
Writer Jerry Izenberg once noted that, “the Nation became Ali’s family and Elijah Muhammad became his father. But there is an irony to the fact that while the Nation branded white people as devils, Ali had more white colleagues than most African American people did at that time in America, and continued to have them throughout his career.”
Conversion to Sunni/Sufi Islam
In a 2004 autobiography, Ali attributed his conversion to mainstream Sunni Islam to Warith Deen Muhammad, who assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam upon the death of his father Elijah Muhammad, and persuaded the Nation’s followers to become adherents of Sunni Islam.
Ali had gone on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 1972, which inspired him in a similar manner to Malcolm X, meeting people of different colors from all over the world giving him a different outlook and greater spiritual awareness. In 1977, he said that, after he retired, he would dedicate the rest of his life to getting “ready to meet God” by helping people, charitable causes, uniting people and helping to make peace. He went on another Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 1988.
After the September 11 attacks in 2001, he stated that “Islam is a religion of peace” and “does not promote terrorism or killing people”, and that he was “angry that the world sees a certain group of Islam followers who caused this destruction, but they are not real Muslims. They are racist fanatics who call themselves Muslims.” In December 2015, he stated that “True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion”, that “We as Muslims have to stand up to those who use Islam to advance their own personal agenda”, and that “political leaders should use their position to bring understanding about the religion of Islam, and clarify that these misguided murderers have perverted people’s views on what Islam really is.”
In later life, Ali developed an interest in Sufism, which he referenced in his autobiography, The Soul of a Butterfly. Around 2005, Ali converted to Sufi Islam. According to Ali’s daughter, Hana Yasmeen Ali, who co-authored The Soul of a Butterfly with him, Ali was attracted to Sufism after reading the books of Inayat Khan, which contain Sufi teachings.
Ali later moved away from Inayat Khan’s teachings of Universal Sufism after traditional Sunni-Sufis criticized the movement as being contrary to the actual teachings of Sunni Islam. Muhammad Ali received guidance from Sunni-Sufi Islamic scholars such as Grand Mufti of Syria Almarhum Asy-Syaikh Ahmed Kuftaro, Hisham Kabbani, Imam Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf, and Timothy J. Gianotti, who was at Ali’s bedside during his last days and ensured that his funeral was in accordance with Islamic rites and rituals.
Beatles reunion plan
In 1976 inventor Alan Amron and businessman Joel Sacher partnered with Ali to promote The International Committee to Reunite the Beatles. They asked fans worldwide to contribute a dollar each. Ali said the idea was not to use the proceeds for profit, but to establish an international agency to help poor children. “This is money to help people all over the world”, he said. He added, “I love the music. I used to train to their music.” He said a reunion of the Beatles “would make a lot of people happy.” The former Beatles were indifferent to the plan, which elicited only a tepid response from the public. No reunion happened.
Vietnam War and resistance to the draft
See also: Clay v. United StatesMy enemy is the white people, not Viet Cong or Chinese or Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. You won’t even stand up for me in America for my religious beliefs—and you want me to go somewhere and fight, but you won’t even stand up for me here at home?
—Muhammad Ali to a crowd of college students during his exile
Ali registered for conscription in the United States military on his 18th birthday and was listed as 1-A in 1962. In 1964, he was reclassified as Class 1-Y (fit for service only in times of national emergency) after he failed the U.S. Armed Forces qualifying test because his writing and spelling skills were sub-standard, due to his dyslexia. (He was quoted as saying, “I said I was the greatest, not the smartest!”) By early 1966, the army lowered its standards to permit soldiers above the 15th percentile and Ali was again classified as 1-A. This classification meant he was now eligible for the draft and induction into the U.S. Army at a time when the U.S. was involved in the Vietnam War, a war which put him further at odds with the white establishment.
When notified of this status, Ali declared that he would refuse to serve in the army and publicly considered himself a conscientious objector. Ali stated: “War is against the teachings of the Qur’an. I’m not trying to dodge the draft. We are not supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger. We don’t take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers.” He stated: “Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” Ali elaborated: “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” Ali antagonized the white establishment in 1966 by refusing to be drafted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War.
On April 28, 1967, Ali appeared in Houston for his scheduled induction into the U.S. Armed Forces, but he refused three times to step forward when his name was called. An officer warned him that he was committing a felony punishable by five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Once more, Ali refused to budge when his name was called, and he was arrested. Later that same day, the New York State Athletic Commission suspended his boxing license and stripped him of his title. Other boxing commissions followed suit. Ali remained unable to obtain a license to box in any state for over three years.[page needed]
At the trial on June 20, 1967, the jury found Ali guilty after only 21 minutes of deliberation of the criminal offense of violating the Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted. After a Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, the case was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971.
Ali remained free in the years between the Appellate Court decision and the Supreme Court ruling. As public opinion began turning people against the war and the Civil Rights Movement continued to gather momentum, Ali became a popular speaker at colleges and universities across the country; this itinerary was rare if not unprecedented for a prizefighter. At Howard University, for example, he gave his popular “Black Is Best” speech to 4,000 cheering students and community intellectuals, after he was invited to speak by sociology professor Nathan Hare on behalf of the Black Power Committee, a student protest group.
On June 28, 1971, the Supreme Court of the United States in Clay v. United States overturned Ali’s conviction by a unanimous 8–0 decision (Justice Thurgood Marshall recused himself, as he had been the U.S. Solicitor General at the time of Ali’s conviction). The decision was not based on, nor did it address, the merits of Ali’s claims per se; rather, the Court held that since the appeal board gave no reason for the denial of a conscientious objector exemption to Ali, and that it was therefore impossible to determine which of the three basic tests for conscientious objector status offered in the Justice Department’s brief that the appeal board relied on, Ali’s conviction must be reversed.
Impact of Ali’s draft refusal
Ali’s example inspired countless black Americans and others. The New York Times columnist William Rhoden wrote, “Ali’s actions changed my standard of what constituted an athlete’s greatness. Possessing a killer jump shot or the ability to stop on a dime was no longer enough. What were you doing for the liberation of your people? What were you doing to help your country live up to the covenant of its founding principles?”
Recalling Ali’s anti-war position, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said: “I remember the teachers at my high school didn’t like Ali because he was so anti-establishment and he kind of thumbed his nose at authority and got away with it. The fact that he was proud to be a black man and that he had so much talent … made some people think that he was dangerous. But for those very reasons I enjoyed him.”
Civil rights figures came to believe that Ali had an energizing effect on the freedom movement as a whole. Al Sharpton spoke of his bravery at a time when there was still widespread support for the Vietnam War. “For the heavyweight champion of the world, who had achieved the highest level of athletic celebrity, to put all of that on the line—the money, the ability to get endorsements—to sacrifice all of that for a cause, gave a whole sense of legitimacy to the movement and the causes with young people that nothing else could have done. Even those who were assassinated, certainly lost their lives, but they didn’t voluntarily do that. He knew he was going to jail and did it anyway. That’s another level of leadership and sacrifice.”
Ali was honored with the annual Martin Luther King Award in 1970 by civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy, who called him “a living example of soul power, the March on Washington in two fists.” Coretta Scott King added that Ali was “a champion of justice and peace and unity.”
In speaking of the cost on Ali’s career of his refusal to be drafted, his trainer Angelo Dundee said, “One thing must be taken into account when talking about Ali: He was robbed of his best years, his prime years.”
Bob Arum did not support Ali’s choice at the time. More recently, Arum stated that “when I look back at his life, and I was blessed to call him a friend and spent a lot of time with him, it’s hard for me to talk about his exploits in boxing because as great as they were they paled in comparison to the impact that he had on the world,” and “He did what he thought was right. And it turned out he was right, and I was wrong.”
NSA and FBI monitoring of Ali’s communications
In a secret operation code-named “Minaret“, the National Security Agency (NSA) intercepted the communications of leading Americans, including Ali, Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., prominent U.S. journalists, and others who criticized the U.S. war in Vietnam. A review by the NSA of the Minaret program concluded that it was “disreputable if not outright illegal.”
In 1971, his Fight of the Century with Frazier provided cover for an activist group, the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI, to pull off a burglary at an FBI office in Pennsylvania, which exposed the COINTELPRO operations that included illegal spying on activists involved with the civil rights and anti-war movements. One of the COINTELPRO targets was Ali, which included the FBI gaining access to his records as far back as elementary school; one such record mentioned him loving art as a child.
Further information: Muhammad Ali in media and popular culture
Ali had a cameo role in the 1962 film version of Requiem for a Heavyweight, and during his exile from boxing, he starred in the short-lived 1969 Broadway musical, Buck White. He also appeared in the documentary film Black Rodeo (1972) riding both a horse and a bull.
His autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, written with Richard Durham, was published in 1975. In 1977 the book was adapted into a film called The Greatest, in which Ali played himself and Ernest Borgnine played Angelo Dundee.
The film Freedom Road, made in 1978, features Ali in a rare acting role as Gideon Jackson, a former slave and Union (American Civil War) soldier in 1870s Virginia, who gets elected to the U.S. Senate and battles other former slaves and white sharecroppers to keep the land they have tended all their lives.
Spoken word poetry and rap music
Ali often used rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, both for when he was trash-talking in boxing and as political poetry for his activism outside of boxing. He played a role in the shaping of the black poetic tradition, paving the way for The Last Poets in 1968, Gil Scott-Heron in 1970, and the emergence of rap music in the 1970s. According to The Guardian, “Some have argued that” Ali was “the first rapper.”
In 1963, Ali released an album of spoken word music on Columbia Records titled, I Am the Greatest, and in 1964, he recorded a cover version of the rhythm and blues song “Stand by Me“. I Am the Greatest sold 500,000 copies, and has been identified as an early example of rap music and a precursor to hip hop. It reached number 61 on the album chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award. He later received a second Grammy nomination, for “Best Recording for Children”, with his 1976 spoken word novelty record, The Adventures of Ali and His Gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay.
Ali was an influential figure in the world of hip hop music. As a “rhyming trickster”, he was noted for his “funky delivery”, “boasts”, “comical trash-talk”, and “endless quotables.” According to Rolling Stone, his “freestyle skills” and his “rhymes, flow, and braggadocio” would “one day become typical of old school MCs” like Run–D.M.C. and LL Cool J, and his “outsized ego foreshadowed the vainglorious excesses of Kanye West, while his Afrocentric consciousness and cutting honesty pointed forward to modern bards like Rakim, Nas, Jay-Z, and Kendrick Lamar.” “I’ve wrestled with alligators, I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning and throw thunder in jail. You know I’m bad. Just last week, I murdered a rock, Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean, I make medicine sick ” “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.” Ali spoke like no man the world had seen before. So confident in what he said; fluent, smooth, creative, and intimidating. He was a boxer and an activist, but he also had a role in influencing what now dominated pop-culture, hip-hop. In 2006, the documentary Ali Rap was produced by ESPN. Chuck D, a rapper for the band Public Enemy is the host. Other rappers narrated the documentary as well, including Doug E Fresh, Ludacris and Rakim who all spoke on Ali’s behalf in the film.
He has been cited as an inspiration by rappers such as LL Cool J, Public Enemy‘s Chuck D, Jay-Z, Eminem, Sean Combs, Slick Rick, Nas and MC Lyte. Ali has been referenced in a number of hip hop songs, including Migos “Fight Night”, The Game‘s “Jesus Piece”, Nas‘ “The Message, The Sugarhill Gang‘s “Rapper’s Delight“, the Fugees‘ “Ready or Not“, EPMD‘s “You’re a Customer” and Will Smith‘s “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It“.
Further information: Boxing career of Muhammad Ali § Television viewership
Muhammad Ali’s fights were some of the world’s most-watched television broadcasts, setting television viewership records. His most-watched fights drew an estimated 1–2 billion viewers worldwide between 1974 and 1980, and were the world’s most-watched live television broadcasts at the time. Outside of fights, he made many other television appearances. The following table lists known viewership figures of his non-fight television appearances.
|October 17, 1971||Parkinson (series 1, episode 14)||United Kingdom||12,000,000|||
|January 25, 1974||Parkinson (series 3, episode 18)||United Kingdom||12,000,000|||
|December 7, 1974||Parkinson||United Kingdom||12,000,000|||
|March 28, 1977||49th Academy Awards||United States||39,719,000|||
|December 25, 1978||This Is Your Life (“Muhammad Ali”)||United States||60,000,000|||
|October 24, 1979||Diff’rent Strokes (“Arnold’s Hero“)||United States||41,000,000|||
|January 17, 1981||Parkinson (series 10, episode 32)||United Kingdom||12,000,000|||
|July 19, 1996||Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics opening ceremony||Worldwide||3,500,000,000|||
|January 4, 2007||Michael Parkinson’s Greatest Entertainers||United Kingdom||3,630,000|||
|June 9, 2016||Muhammad Ali memorial service||Worldwide||1,000,000,000|||
In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome, a disease that sometimes results from head trauma from violent physical activities such as boxing. Ali still remained active during this time, later participating as a guest referee at WrestleMania I.
Philanthropy, humanitarianism and politics
Ali in an art gallery during his visit to Argentina in 1971
Ali was known for being a humanitarian and philanthropist. He focused on practicing his Islamic duty of charity and good deeds, donating millions to charity organizations and disadvantaged people of all religious backgrounds. It is estimated that Ali helped to feed more than 22 million people afflicted by hunger across the world.
Ali began visiting Africa starting in 1964, when he visited Ghana. In 1974, he visited a Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon, where Ali declared “support for the Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland.” In 1978, following his loss to Spinks and before winning the rematch, Ali visited Bangladesh and received honorary citizenship there. The same year, he participated in The Longest Walk, a protest march in the United States in support of Native American rights, along with singer Stevie Wonder and actor Marlon Brando.
In 1980, Ali was recruited by President Jimmy Carter for a diplomatic mission to Africa, in an effort to persuade a number of African governments to join the US-led boycott of the Moscow Olympics (in response to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan). According to Ali biographer Thomas Hauser, “at best, it was ill-conceived; at worst, a diplomatic disaster.” The Tanzanian government was insulted that Carter had sent an athlete to discuss a serious political issue. One official asked whether the United States would “send Chris Evert to negotiate with London.” Consequently, Ali was only received by the youth and culture minister, rather than President Julius Nyerere. Ali was unable to explain why the African countries should join the US boycott when it had failed to support the African boycott of the 1976 Olympics (in protest at Apartheid in South Africa), and was unaware that the Soviet Union was sponsoring popular revolutionary movements in Africa. Ali conceded “They didn’t tell me about that in America”, and complained that Carter had sent him “around the world to take the whupping over American policies.” The Nigerian government also rebuffed him and confirmed that they would be participating in the Moscow games. Ali did, however, convince the government of Kenya to boycott the Olympics.
In 1984, Ali announced his support for the re-election of United States President Ronald Reagan. When asked to elaborate on his endorsement of Reagan, Ali told reporters, “He’s keeping God in schools and that’s enough.” In 1985, he visited Israel to request the release of Muslim prisoners at Atlit detainee camp, which Israel declined.
Around 1987, the California Bicentennial Foundation for the U.S. Constitution selected Ali to personify the vitality of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Ali rode on a float at the following year’s Tournament of Roses Parade, launching the U.S. Constitution’s 200th birthday commemoration. In 1988, during the First Intifada, Ali participated in a Chicago rally in support of Palestine. The same year, he visited Sudan to raise awareness about the plight of famine victims. In 1989, he participated in an Indian charity event with the Muslim Educational Society in Kozhikode, Kerala, along with Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar.
In 1990, Ali traveled to Iraq prior to the Gulf War, and met with Saddam Hussein in an attempt to negotiate the release of American hostages. Ali secured the release of the hostages, in exchange for promising Hussein that he would bring America “an honest account” of Iraq. Despite rescuing hostages, he received criticism from President George H. W. Bush, diplomat Joseph C. Wilson, and The New York Times. Ali published an oral history, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser, in 1991.
In 1994, Ali campaigned to the United States government to come to the aid of refugees afflicted by the Rwandan genocide, and to donate to organizations helping Rwandan refugees. In 1996, he had the honor of lighting the flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. It was watched by an estimated 3.5 billion viewers worldwide.
Ali’s bout with Parkinson’s led to a gradual decline in his health, though he was still active into the early years of the millennium, promoting his own biopic, Ali, in 2001. That year he also contributed an on-camera segment to the America: A Tribute to Heroes benefit concert.
Ali and Michael J. Fox testify before a Senate committee on providing government funding to combat Parkinson’s
In 1998, Ali began working with actor Michael J Fox, who has Parkinson’s disease, to raise awareness and fund research for a cure. They made a joint appearance before Congress to push the case in 2002. In 2000, Ali worked with the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease to raise awareness and encourage donations for research.
Ali in 2005
On July 27, 2012, Ali was a titular bearer of the Olympic flag during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He was helped to his feet by his wife Lonnie to stand before the flag due to his Parkinson’s rendering him unable to carry it into the stadium. The same year, he was awarded the Philadelphia Liberty Medal in recognition of his lifelong efforts in activism, philanthropy and humanitarianism. In 2014, Ali tweeted in support of Trayvon Martin and the Black Lives Matter movement.
By 1978, Ali’s total fight purse earnings were estimated to be nearly $60 million (inflation-adjusted $312 million), including an estimated $47.45 million grossed between 1970 and 1978. By 1980, his total fight purse earnings were estimated to be up to $70 million (inflation-adjusted $332 million).
In 1978, Ali revealed that he was “broke” and several news outlets reported his net worth to be an estimated $3.5 million (inflation-adjusted $13 million). The press attributed his decline in wealth to several factors, including taxes accounting for at least half of his income, management taking a third of his income, his lifestyle, and spending on family, charity and religious causes.
In 2006, Ali sold his name and image for $50 million, after which Forbes estimated his net worth to be $55 million in 2006. Following his death in 2016, his fortune was estimated to be between $50 million and $80 million.
|Wikinews has related news: Boxing great Muhammed Ali dies aged 74|
In February 2013, Ali’s brother Rahman Ali said Muhammad could no longer speak and could be dead within days. Ali’s daughter May May Ali responded to the rumors, stating that she had talked to him on the phone the morning of February 3 and he was fine. On December 20, 2014, Ali was hospitalized for a mild case of pneumonia. Ali was once again hospitalized on January 15, 2015, for a urinary tract infection after being found unresponsive at a guest house in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was released the next day.
Ali was hospitalized in Scottsdale, Arizona on June 2, 2016, with a respiratory illness. Though his condition was initially described as “fair”, it worsened, and he died the following day at the age of 74 from septic shock.
News coverage and tributes
Following Ali’s death, he was the number-one trending topic on Twitter for over 12 hours and on Facebook for several days. BET played their documentary Muhammad Ali: Made In Miami. ESPN played four hours of non-stop commercial-free coverage of Ali. News networks, such as ABC News, BBC, CNN, and Fox News, also covered him extensively.
He was mourned globally, and a family spokesman said the family “certainly believes that Muhammad was a citizen of the world … and they know that the world grieves with him.” Politicians such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, David Cameron and more paid tribute to Ali. Ali also received numerous tributes from the world of sports including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, the Miami Marlins, LeBron James, Steph Curry and more. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer stated, “Muhammad Ali belongs to the world. But he only has one hometown.”
|“Muhammad Ali Memorial Service”, C-SPAN|
Ali’s funeral had been pre-planned by himself and others for several years prior to his actual death. The services began in Louisville on June 9, 2016, with an Islamic Janazah prayer service at Freedom Hall on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center. On June 10, 2016, the funeral procession passed through the streets of Louisville ending at Cave Hill Cemetery, where his body was interred during a private ceremony. His grave is marked with a simple granite marker that bears only his name. A public memorial service for Ali at downtown Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center was held during the afternoon of June 10. The pallbearers included Will Smith, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson, with honorary pallbearers including George Chuvalo, Larry Holmes and George Foreman. Ali’s memorial was watched by an estimated 1 billion viewers worldwide.
Muhammad Ali defeated every top heavyweight in his era, which has been called the golden age of heavyweight boxing. Ali was named “Fighter of the Year” by The Ring magazine more times than any other fighter, and was involved in more Ring “Fight of the Year” bouts than any other fighter. He was an inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and held wins over seven other Hall of Fame inductees. He was one of only three boxers to be named “Sportsman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated.
In 1978, three years before Ali’s permanent retirement, the Louisville Board of Aldermen in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, voted 6–5 to rename Walnut Street to Muhammad Ali Boulevard. This was controversial at the time, as within a week 12 of the 70 street signs were stolen. Earlier that year, a committee of the Jefferson County Public Schools (Kentucky) considered renaming Ali’s alma mater, Central High School, in his honor, but the motion failed to pass. In time, Muhammad Ali Boulevard—and Ali himself—came to be well accepted in his hometown.
In 1993, the Associated Press reported that Ali was tied with Babe Ruth as the most recognized athlete, out of over 800 dead or living athletes, in America. The study found that over 97% of Americans over 12 years of age identified both Ali and Ruth. He was the recipient of the 1997 Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
In 1999, Time magazine named Ali one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century. He was crowned Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated. Named Sports Personality of the Century in a BBC poll, he received more votes than the other contenders (which included Pelé, Jesse Owens and Jack Nicklaus) combined. On September 13, 1999, Ali was named “Kentucky Athlete of the Century” by the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in ceremonies at the Galt House East.
On January 8, 2001, Muhammad Ali was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton. In November 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, followed by the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in Gold of the UN Association of Germany (DGVN) in Berlin for his work with the civil rights movement and the United Nations, which he received on December 17, 2005.
The Muhammad Ali Center, alongside Interstate 64 on Louisville, Kentucky’s riverfront
On November 19, 2005 (Ali’s 19th wedding anniversary), the $60 million non-profit Muhammad Ali Center opened in downtown Louisville. In addition to displaying his boxing memorabilia, the center focuses on core themes of peace, social responsibility, respect, and personal growth. On June 5, 2007, he received an honorary doctorate of humanities at Princeton University’s 260th graduation ceremony.
Ali Mall, located in Araneta Center, Quezon City, Philippines, is named after him. Construction of the mall, the first of its kind in the Philippines, began shortly after Ali’s victory in a match with Joe Frazier in nearby Araneta Coliseum in 1975. The mall opened in 1976 with Ali attending its opening.
The 1976 Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki fight played an important role in the history of mixed martial arts. In Japan, the match inspired Inoki’s students Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki to found Pancrase in 1993, which in turn inspired the foundation of Pride Fighting Championships in 1997. Pride was acquired by its rival, Ultimate Fighting Championship, in 2007.
The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act was introduced in 1999 and passed in 2000, to protect the rights and welfare of boxers in the United States. In May 2016, a bill was introduced to United States Congress by Markwayne Mullin, a politician and former MMA fighter, to extend the Ali Act to mixed martial arts. In June 2016, US senator Rand Paul proposed an amendment to the US draft laws named after Ali, a proposal to eliminate the Selective Service System.
In 2015, Sports Illustrated renamed its Sportsman Legacy Award to the Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. The annual award was originally created in 2008 and honors former “sports figures who embody the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy as vehicles for changing the world.” Ali first appeared on the magazine’s cover in 1963 and went on to be featured on numerous covers during his storied career.
In the media and popular culture
Main article: Muhammad Ali in media and popular culture
As a world champion boxer, social activist, and pop culture icon, Ali was the subject of numerous creative works including books, films, music, video games, TV shows, and other. Muhammad Ali was often dubbed the world’s “most famous” person in the media. Several of his fights were watched by an estimated 1–2 billion viewers between 1974 and 1980, and his lighting of the torch at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics was watched by an estimated 3.5 billion viewers.
Muhammad Ali pop art painting by John Stango
Ali appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated on 37 different occasions, second only to Michael Jordan.[needs update?] He also appeared on the cover of Time Magazine 5 times, the most of any athlete. In 2015, Harris Poll found that Ali was one of the three most recognizable athletes in the United States, along with Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth.
On the set of Freedom Road Ali met Canadian singer-songwriter Michel (also known as Robert Williams, a co-founder of The Kindness Offensive), and subsequently helped create Michel’s album entitled The First Flight of the Gizzelda Dragon and an unaired television special featuring them both.
Ali was the subject of the British television program This Is Your Life in 1978 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews. Ali was featured in Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, a 1978 DC Comics comic book pitting the champ against the superhero. In 1979, Ali guest-starred as himself in an episode of the NBC sitcom Diff’rent Strokes. The show’s title itself was inspired by the quote “Different strokes for different folks” popularized in 1966 by Ali, who also inspired the title of the 1967 Syl Johnson song “Different Strokes”, one of the most sampled songs in pop music history.
He also wrote several bestselling books about his career, including The Greatest: My Own Story and The Soul of a Butterfly. The Muhammad Ali effect, named after Ali, is a term that came into use in psychology in the 1980s, as he stated in The Greatest: My Own Story: “I only said I was the greatest, not the smartest.” According to this effect, when people are asked to rate their intelligence and moral behavior in comparison to others, people will rate themselves as more moral, but not more intelligent than others.
When We Were Kings, a 1996 documentary about the Rumble in the Jungle, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, and the 2001 biopic Ali garnered an Oscar nomination for Will Smith in the category of Best Actor for his portrayal of Ali. The latter film was directed by Michael Mann, and mixed reviews, with many critics praising Smith’s portrayal of Ali. Prior to making the film, Smith rejected the role until Ali requested that he accept it. Smith said the first thing Ali told him was: “Man, you’re almost pretty enough to play me.”
In 2002, Ali was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the entertainment industry. His star is the only one to be mounted on a vertical surface, out of deference to his request that the name Muhammad—a name he shares with the Islamic prophet—not be walked upon.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali, a documentary directed by Bill Siegel that focuses on Ali’s refusal of the draft during the Vietnam War, opened in Manhattan on August 23, 2013. A made-for-TV movie called Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, also in 2013, dramatized the same aspect of Ali’s life.
Further information: Muhammad Ali in media and popular culture
|Book: Muhammad Ali|
- List of lineal boxing world champions
- List of heavyweight boxing champions
- List of WBA world champions
- List of WBC world champions
- List of The Ring world champions
- List of undisputed boxing champions
- Converts to Islam
- Notable boxing families
- List of people from the Louisville metropolitan area
- List of North American Muslims
- African-American Muslims
- 1981 MAPS Wells Fargo embezzlement scandal
- ^ These records are shared with Joe Louis and José Napoles, respectively. Both these records were eventually beaten by Wladimir Klitschko.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: The greatest monument to the great one”. MediaWorks TV. March 31, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Professional boxing record for Muhammad Ali from BoxRec. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- ^ Wells, John C. (2008). “Ali”. Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0. the former boxer Muhammad Ali pronounces ɑːˈliː
- ^ Peter, Josh (July 11, 2016). “Why Muhammad Ali never legally changed name from Cassius Clay”. USA Today. Retrieved July 12,2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d Hauser, Thomas. “The Importance of Muhammad Ali”. Gilder Lehrman Institute.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Roberts, Randy (1991). Winning is the Only Thing: Sports in America Since 1945. Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 171–172.
- ^ Hallett, Alison. “Not So Fast”. Portland Mercury. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Rhoden, William C. (June 20, 2013). “In Ali’s Voice From the Past, a Stand for the Ages”. The New York Times.
- ^ “The religion and politics of Muhammad Ali”. Hollowverse. MK Safi. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali”. ESPN. January 20, 2012. Retrieved January 29,2012.
- ^ Donelson, Tom (July 14, 2008). “Was Ali the Greatest Heavyweight?”. Boxinginsider.com. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ “AP Fighters of the Century list”. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- ^ Kang, Jay Caspian (April 4, 2013). “The End and Don King”. Grantland. ESPN. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
- ^ McDougall, Christopher (2014). The Best American Sports Writing 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 149. ISBN 9780544147003.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Revisiting ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ 40 years later”. USA Today. October 29, 2014.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e “Mike Tyson May Fight George Foreman In Biggest Money Match: $80 Million”. Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 88 (19): 46. September 18, 1995. Cite error: The named reference “jet” was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
- ^ “Muhammad Ali – press conference 1974”. YouTube. September 26, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali – Pre Liston Poetry & Highlights”. YouTube. February 12, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali Famous Interview After Defeating Foreman”. YouTube. January 6, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Gates, Henry Louis Jr. (June 9, 2016). “Muhammad Ali, the Political Poet”. The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Reeves, Mosi (June 4, 2016). “Muhammad Ali: World’s Greatest Boxer Was Also Hip-Hop Pioneer”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d Rubin, Mike (June 5, 2016). “Muhammad Ali: 4 Ways He Changed America”. Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Thomas, Robert McG. Jr. (September 20, 1984). “Change In Drug Helps Ali Improve”. The New York Times. pp. D–29. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
- ^ AP “Muhammad Ali’s doctor doubts boxing led to Parkinson’s”, Associated Press via CBC, June 6. 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Johnson, Rafer (February 1, 2002). Great Athletes. 1(revised ed.). Salem Press. pp. 38–41. ISBN 978-1-58765-008-6.
- ^ “Barber Can Relax Hair”. Philadelphia Inquirer. October 15, 1997. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
- ^ “Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr., Former Champion’s Father, 77”. The New York Times. Associated Press. February 10, 1990. Retrieved September 4, 2009.
- ^ Egerton, John (September 1, 1991). Shades of Gray: Dispatches from the Modern South. LSU Press. p. 134. ISBN 978-0807117057. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: Boxer’s ancestral Irish town pays tribute after death”. BBC. June 4, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- ^ “Ali has Irish ancestry”. BBC News. February 9, 2002. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- ^ Rietwiesner, Williams Adams. “Ancestry of Muhammad Ali”.
- ^ Irish Central
- ^ BBC
- ^ “DNA evidence links Muhammad Ali to heroic slave, family says”. Washington Post. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
- ^ “DNA findings link Muhammad Ali to heroic slave”. New York Post. October 2, 2018. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
- ^ Alexander, Archer (ca. 1810-1879) at the Online Encyclopedia of Significant People and Places in African American History(BlackPast.org); by Susan J. Griffith; published 2011; retrieved October 5, 2013.
- ^ Hauser 2004, p. 14
- ^ Jump up to:a b Eig, Jonathan (2017). Ali: A Life: Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781471155963.
- ^ Hampton, Henry; Fayer, Steve; Flynn, Sarah (1990). Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s. Bantam Books. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-553-05734-8.
- ^ Gorn, Elliott (1998). Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ. University of Illinois Press. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-0-252-06721-1.
- ^ Kandel, Elmo (April 1, 2006). “Boxing Legend – Muhammad Ali”. Article Click. Elmo Kandel. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali”. University of Florida. Archived from the originalon May 31, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- ^ The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey. Simon and Schuster. 2013. p. 18.
- ^ Fernandez, Pedro Fernandez (September 2, 2007). “‘GODFATHER’ OF CUTMEN-CHUCK BODAK SUFFERS STROKE”. RingTalk. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- ^ Gray, Geoffey (June 4, 2016). “How Muhammad Ali Became a Boxer – Daily Intelligencer”. New York. Retrieved June 26, 2016.
- ^ Ward, Nathan (October 2006). “A Total Eclipse of the Sonny”. American Heritage. Archived from the original on January 11, 2007.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Hauser 2004
- ^ Calkins, Matt (November 17, 2014). “Archie Moore was the KO king”. U-T San Diego. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- ^ Krantz, Les (January 1, 2008). Ali in Action: The Man, the Moves, the Mouth. Globe Pequot. ISBN 9781599213026. Retrieved June 15,2016 – via Google Books.
- ^ Velin, Bob (June 4, 2016). “Fight by fight: Muhammad Ali’s legendary career”. USA Today. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
- ^ Bob Mee, Ali and Liston: The Boy Who Would Be King and the Ugly Bear, 2011.
- ^ Capouya, John (December 12, 2005). “King Strut”. Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
- ^ Burkholder, Denny (June 6, 2016). “How Muhammad Ali’s fascination with pro wrestling fueled his career, inspired MMA”. CBS Sports. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
- ^ Irusta, Carlos (January 17, 2012). “Dundee: Ali was, still is ‘The Greatest'”. ESPN. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- ^ Haygood, Wil (April 1, 2011). Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson. Chicago Review Press. p. 378. ISBN 9781569768648. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
- ^ Remnick (1998), p. 147
- ^ Jump up to:a b Lipsyte, Robert (February 26, 1964). “Clay Wins Title in Seventh-Round Upset As Liston Is Halted by Shoulder Injury”. The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
- ^ Sugar, Bert Randolph (November 1, 2003). Bert Sugar on Boxing: The Best of the Sport’s Most Notable Writer. Globe Pequot. p. 196. ISBN 978-1-59228-048-3.
- ^ In an interview in 1974, Ali said that, prior to his later fight with Foreman, a one-time member of Liston’s entourage offered him a liniment that could be applied to boxing gloves and that would cause a blinding, temporary stinging of the eyes. Video on YouTube
- ^ McLeod, Kembrew, Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World, pp. 223–4.
- ^ “Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston – 1964 Boxen”. YouTube.
- ^ Cuddy, Jack (November 14, 1964). “Clay Undergoes Surgery; Fight Is Off Indefinitely”. The Bridgeport Telegram. p. 1. Retrieved March 14,2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston I & II – Highlights (Ali Becomes World Champion & Phantom Punch Fight!)”. YouTube. Retrieved June 20,2018.
- ^ Anderson, Dave (January 16, 1992). “Sports of The Times; On His 50th, Ali Is Still ‘The Greatest'”. The New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- ^ Vachss, Andrew (2003). Only Child. Vintage. p. 89. Vachss further explains the way such a fix would have been engineered in Two Trains Running. Pantheon. 2005. pp. 160–165, 233.
- ^ Belth, Alex (August 27, 2012). “ALI-PATTERSON: THE REAL STORY”. Sports on Earth. Sports on Earth. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
- ^ Belth, Alex (August 27, 2012). “Ali-Patterson: The Real Story”. Sports on Earth. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- ^ Ezra, Michael (2013). The Economic Civil Rights Movement: African Americans and the Struggle for Economic Power. Routledge. p. 105. ISBN 9781136274756.
- ^ Shalit, Nevin I. (July 15, 1980). “Muhammad Ali: Losing the Real Title”. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- ^ Dundee, Angelo; Maule, Tex (August 28, 1967). “He Could Go To Jail And Still Be Champ”. Sports Illustrated.
- ^ Maule, Tex (February 13, 1967). “Cruel Ali With All The Skills”. Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Ali vs. Marciano: Who wins?”. The Enterprise. September 1, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
- ^ “The forgotten story of … the Rocky Marciano v Muhammad Ali Super Fight”. The Guardian. November 13, 2012.
- ^ Bingham, Howard; Wallace, Max (2000). Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight: Cassius Clay vs. the United States of America. M. Evans. p. 218.
- ^ Matthew (October 1, 2005). “Knockout: An oral history of Muhammad Ali, Atlanta, and the fight nobody wanted”. Atlanta Magazine. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- ^ “Clay granted New York ring license”. The Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. September 15, 1970. p. B4.
- ^ “Ali’s Remark Ended Wilt’s Ring Career”. Los Angeles Times. January 15, 1989. Morning Briefing.
- ^ O’Reilly, Terry (March 3, 2016). “Achilles Heel Advertising: Repositioning the Competition”. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali – The Rumble In The Jungle(Interview)”. YouTube. March 22, 1967. Retrieved September 3, 2013.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali Inspirational Speech (Cassius Clay Boxing Motivation)”. YouTube. September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 3,2013.
- ^ Foreman, George (January 2012). “George Foreman on why Muhammad Ali was so much more than a ‘boxer'”. ShortList. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- ^ “Zaire’s fight promotion opens new gold mines”. The Morning Herald. November 18, 1974.
- ^ “Ali Regains Title, Flooring Foreman”. The New York Times. October 30, 1974.
- ^ “Rumble in the Jungle: the night Ali became King of the World again”. The Guardian. October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
- ^ “Most-Watched Live TV Broadcasts Of All Time: Where Will The Royal Wedding Rank?”. Inquisitr. May 19, 2018. Archived from the originalon May 20, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- ^ Schneiderman, R. M. (August 10, 2006). “Stallone Settles With The ‘Real’ Rocky”. Forbes.
- ^ “Jhoon Rhee, Father of American Tae Kwon Do”. www.jhoonrhee.com. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali Boxing a Monsoon – Boxing Hall of Fame”. boxinghalloffame.com. December 29, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Tallent, Aaron (February 20, 2005). “The Joke That Almost Ended Ali’s Career”. The Sweet Science. Archived from the original on July 9, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2007.
- ^ Mather, Victor (June 5, 2016). “Ali’s Least Memorable Fight”. The New York Times.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Gross, Josh (June 25, 2016). “Muhammad Ali’s Forgotten Fight Was Also One of His Most Influential”. Newsweek. Retrieved April 10,2018.
- ^ Burkholder, Denny (June 6, 2016). “How Muhammad Ali’s fascination with pro wrestling fueled his career, inspired MMA”. CBS Sports. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
- ^ “Champion Ali Quits Boxing”. The Paris News. October 1, 1976. p. 12. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
- ^ Read Peter Finney’s column on Ali vs. Spinks 2 at the Superdome in 1978, The Times-Picayune NOLA.com (New Orleans, LA.), re-posted on June 4, 2016.
- ^ Muhammad Ali, The Glory Years, Felix Dennis and Don Atyeo, p. 258.
- ^ The Last Flight of the Butterfly: Remembering Ali vs Spinks II, RingsideReport.com, Kevin “The Voice” Kincade, September 22, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali Fast Facts”. CNN. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- ^ Koch, Ed. “Timeline: Fifty years of Las Vegas memories for Muhammad Ali”. Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- ^ Hale, Mike (October 26, 2009). “Boxing King Casts His Shadow, Even at Time of Defeat”. The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
- ^ “Ali to try again?”. The Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal. Associated Press. August 16, 1981. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- ^ “It’s all over for Ali after loss”. Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. December 12, 1981. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- ^ Nack, William (December 21, 1981). “Not with a bang but a whisper”. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- ^ “A new biography of Muhammad Ali”. The Economist. October 26, 2017.
- ^ Micklos, John Jr. (2010). Muhammad Ali: “I Am the Greatest”. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7660-3381-8.
- ^ Hauser, Thomas (2012). Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times. Open Road Integrated Media. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-4532-4119-6.
- ^ Hauser, Thomas (2012). Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times. Open Road Integrated Media. p. 288. ISBN 978-1-4532-4119-6.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali’s Daughter, May May Ali, Writes Children’s Book About His Boxing Career”. Jet. Vol. 104 no. 24. December 8, 2003. pp. 38–39. ISSN 0021-5996 – via Google Books.
- ^ “Ali’s camp now a bed and breakfast”. ESPN. Retrieved January 29,2012.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “ALI DAUGHTER TOSSES BOOK IN RING”. New York Daily News. March 18, 2001.
- ^ “Former three-time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali agreed Tuesday …” UPI. January 28, 1986.
- ^ “Muhammed Ali Biography”. Lifetime. May 23, 2006. Archived from the original on April 4, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Muhammad Ali’s ex-wife reveals details about their secret wedding”. USA Today. June 6, 2016.
- ^ Allen, Nick (June 5, 2016), “Could Muhammad Ali’s $80m fortune become subject of bitter legal battle?”, The Daily Telegraph.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali confesses illness put a stop to his ‘girl chasing,’ but his son is just starting”. Jet. Vol. 91 no. 10. January 27, 1997. pp. 32–33. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved March 14, 2017 – via Google Books.
- ^ Miller, Davis (September 12, 1993). “Still Larger Than Life – To Millions, Muhammad Ali Will Always Be The Champ”. The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 5, 2009.
- ^ Laufenberg, Norbert B. (2005). Entertainment Celebrities. Trafford Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-4120-5335-8. Retrieved December 5,2010.
- ^ Bollinger, Rhett. “Angels draft boxing legend Ali’s son”. Major League Baseball. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- ^ Bucktin, Christopher (September 13, 2014). “Muhammad Ali’s secret daughter begs to see boxing legend one more time ‘before he dies'”. Daily Mirror. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- ^ Ofori-Mensah (June 5, 2016). “6 Facts About Kiiursti Mensah Ali, Muhammed Ali’s Ghanaian Daughter You Need To Know”. omgvoice.com. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- ^ Foster, Peter; Allen, Nick (June 4, 2016). “Muhammad Ali’s tangled love life leaves troubled legacy”. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- ^ “Ali’s alleged lovechild talks to tabloids”. The Daily Express. February 11, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ “An 18-year-old woman has filed suit seeking $3 million …” United Press International. April 24, 1981. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
- ^ “TEMICA WILLIAMS a/k/a Rebecca Jean Holloway, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MUHAMMAD ALI, Defendant-Appellee“. All Court Data. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
- ^ Eig, Jonathan (2017). Ali: A Life. London: Simon & Schuster. p. 416. ISBN 978-1471155932. OCLC 968294310.
- ^ “Brother: Muhammad Ali’s health failing”. United Press International. Archived from the original on August 13, 2014. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- ^ Brewer, Dale (September 16, 2018). “When Ali was King”. The Herald-Palladium. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
- ^ Shafer, Sheldon S. (January 25, 2007). “Ali coming home, buys house in Jefferson County” (PDF). The Courier-Journal. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 25, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2007.
- ^ Patricia Sheridan (December 3, 2007) “Patricia Sheridan’s Breakfast With … Lonnie Ali” Archived January 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 28, 2009.
- ^ “Laila Ali”. Womenboxing.com. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- ^ “Boxing- Muhammad Ali”. Womenboxing.com. June 8, 2001. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- ^ “Laila Ali, With Her Father Watching, Stays Undefeated”. New York Times. June 12, 2005. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
- ^ Cepeda, Elias (June 4, 2016). “Kevin Casey will fight at UFC 199 despite passing of father-in-law Muhammad Ali”. Fox Sports. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Mitchell, Kevin (June 4, 2016). “From the Vietnam war to Islam – the key chapters in Ali’s life”. The Guardian. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- ^ “Muslim Charge Clams Up Clay”. The Pittsburgh Press. February 7, 1964.
- ^ Schwartz, Larry. “He is simply … The Greatest”. ESPN. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- ^ Steinberg, Neil (June 4, 2016). “For a time, Ali called Chicago home”. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- ^ “History website, Muhammad Ali: “Cassius Clay is my slave name””. BBC. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- ^ “‘I am America’: Muhammad Ali’s fight for civil rights”. 9News, Australia. Agence France-Presse. June 5, 2016. Retrieved June 4,2016.
- ^ Handler, M. S. (March 9, 1964). “Malcolm X Splits with Muhammad”. The New York Times. Retrieved August 1, 2008. (subscription required)
- ^ Jump up to:a b Ali, Muhammad; Ali, Hana Yasmeen (November 16, 2004). The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-6286-6. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Garcia, Courtney (September 6, 2013). “‘Trials of Muhammad Ali’ highlights boxer’s anti-war opposition”. theGrio. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Metz, Nina (August 31, 2013). “The trials of a Chicago director making Muhammad Ali doc”. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 31,2016.
- ^ Mogul, Priyanka (June 4, 2016). “Muhammad Ali: Why the boxing legend converted to Islam and refused to serve in the Vietnam War”. International Business Times. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
- ^ Bercaw, Nancy; Ownby, Ted (eds.). The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 13: Gender. p. 291.
- ^ Ali, Muhammad; Ali, Hana Yasmeen (2013). The Soul of a Butterfly. Simon & Schuster. p. 85.
- ^ “Muhammed Ali’s Pilgrimage to Makkah”. Emel. No. 17. February 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Bryan, Chloe (June 4, 2016). “Muhammad Ali had a thought-provoking response when asked about his retirement plans”. Mashable. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Rajeev, K R (June 5, 2016). “Muhammad Ali’s visit was Kozhikode’s knockout moment”. The Times of India. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: The face of ‘real Islam'”. Al Jazeera. June 6, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: Five things you never knew about the boxing legend”. CNN. April 28, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- ^ “The Champ and Mr. X”. National Review. February 29, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: America’s First Muslim Hero”. Daily Beast. June 4, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
- ^ “Family, faith and magic tricks: My 40-year friendship with Muhammad Ali”. The Telegraph. March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: Unapologetically Black, Unapologetically Muslim”. On Being. June 9, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali’s New Spiritual Quest”. Beliefnet. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- ^ “Timothy Gianotti – The Imam whose on Muhammad Ali’s last days and funeral”. On Being. June 9, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- ^ “Prof. Gianotti plans Muhammad Ali’s funeral and memorial service”. On Being. June 9, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
- ^ COLUMBIA DAILY SPECTATOR International Committee To Reunite The Beatles June 17, 1976. Retrieved on April 1, 2018.
- ^ BEATLES AGAIN Stan Mieses  Desert Sun Newspaper January 26, 1977. Retrieved on April 1, 2018
- ^ Can 200 Million Fans Reunite the Beatles The Daily Herald January 28, 1977. Retrieved on April 1, 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Foley, Michael (2003), Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance during the Vietnam War, University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 978-0-8078-5436-5, archived from the original on October 16, 2015
- ^ “Clay may be put into 1-A class today”. Lodi News-Sentinel. United Press International. February 10, 1967. p. 13.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Neel, Eric. “Page2 – Muhammad Ali from A to Z”. ESPN. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ Remnick, David (1998). King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero. Random House. p. 287. ISBN 978-0-375-50065-7.
- ^ Haas, Jeffrey (November 1, 2009). The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther. Lawrence Hill Books. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-55652-765-4.
- ^ Reemstsma, Jean (1999). More Than a Champion: The Style of Muhammad Ali. New York: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-375-70005-7. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- ^ “Cassius Marsellus CLAY, Jr. also known as Muhammad Ali, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES”. LII / Legal Information Institute.
- ^ “”The Greatest” Is Gone”. Time. February 27, 1978. p. 5. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
- ^ “Cassius Marsellus CLAY, Jr. also known as Muhammad Ali, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES. | LII / Legal Information Institute”. Law.cornell.edu. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ “Clay v. United States | The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law”. Oyez.org. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ “Interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar”. Digital.wustl.edu. March 3, 1989. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: The man who changed his sport and his country”. BBC. June 5, 2016.
- ^ Ezra, Michael (2009). “Muhammad Ali’s Main Bout: African American Economic Power and the World Heavyweight Title”. Muhammad Ali: The Making of an Icon. Temple University Press. p. 82. ISBN 9781592136612.
- ^ “Dundee: Ali was, still is ‘The Greatest'”. ESPN. January 17, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- ^ Whitcomb, Dan “Former Ali promoter Bob Arum recalls boxer’s impact on society”, Reuters, June 5, 2016. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Rapold, Nicolas (August 22, 2013). “One of His Biggest Fights Was Outside of the Ring”. The New York Times. Retrieved August 29,2016.
- ^ Zirin, Dave (June 4, 2016). “The Hidden History of Muhammad Ali”. Jacobin. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Pilkington, Ed (September 26, 2013). “Declassified NSA files show agency spied on Muhammad Ali and MLK”. The Guardian. Retrieved April 16, 2017.
- ^ Medsger, Betty (June 6, 2016). “In 1971, Muhammad Ali Helped Undermine the FBI’s Illegal Spying on Americans”. The Intercept. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Ali, Muhammad; Durham, Richard (October 1975). The Greatest: My Own Story. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-394-46268-4. OCLC 1622063.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali’s influence ran deep through rap’s golden age”. The Guardian. June 6, 2016.
- ^ “Song Stand By Me, recorded in 1964 by Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay”. YouTube. December 13, 2008. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- ^ “Different versions of ‘Stand By Me'”. Secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- ^ Tinsley, Justin (June 8, 2016). “The Grammy-nominated Cassius Clay”. The Undefeated.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: Famed Pugilist Was Also Hip-Hop Pioneer”. Rolling Stone. June 4, 2016.
- ^ “A quote by Muhammad Ali”. www.goodreads.com. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- ^ “30 of Muhammad Ali’s best quotes”. USA TODAY. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- ^ Berry, Ben (June 9, 2016). “The 10 Best Muhammad Ali References In Hip Hop”. The Source. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali: The original rapper – Legendary emcee Chuck D of Public Enemy talks Ali’s impact on hip-hop”. The Undefeated. June 9, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Jay Z, Eminem and more hip-hop luminaries remember Muhammad Ali”. CBS News. June 9, 2016. Retrieved September 4,2016.
- ^ “Most-Watched Live TV Broadcasts Of All Time: Where Will The Royal Wedding Rank?”. Inquisitr. May 19, 2018. Archived from the originalon May 20, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d “Michael Parkinson:’I loved Ali … but he was a hypocrite'”. Mail Online. November 26, 2016. They met four times in the studio between 1971 and 1981 … Parky the cool inquisitor, whose Saturday-night chat show was a national institution attracting 10 million viewers, and Ali, the funny, eloquent fighter who added another two million to the audience when he appeared.
- ^ “Academy Awards Show Ratings”. TV By The Numbers. February 18, 2009.
- ^ Hauser, Thomas (2012). Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times. Anova Books. p. 431. ISBN 9781907554902.
- ^ “Diff’rent Strokes – The Complete Second Season DVD Review”. Sitcoms Online. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Hajeski, Nancy J. (2013). Ali: The Official Portrait of “The Greatest” of All Time. Simon and Schuster. p. 293. ISBN 9781607109839.
- ^ Toff, Benjamin (August 25, 2008). “Olympics Ratings Set Record”. The New York Times.
- ^ “Weekly top 30 programmes”. Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board. January 7, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “ANNUAL REPORT 2016” (PDF). Muhammad Ali Center. January 2017.
- ^ “Ali Leaves Hospital Vowing to take better care of himself and get more sleep”. The New York Times. September 22, 1984. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
- ^ Friedman, J. H. (1989). “Progressive parkinsonism in boxers”. Southern Medical Journal. 82 (5): 543–546. doi:10.1097/00007611-198905000-00002. PMID 2655100.
- ^ “WrestleMania I: Celebrities”. Wwe.com. March 31, 1985. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- ^ McAvennie, Mike (January 17, 2007). “Happy Birthday to ‘The Greatest'”. WWE.com. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Muhammad Ali Handed Humanitarian Honour”. Sky News. September 14, 2012.
- ^ “A Tribute To Muhammad Ali: The Athlete, Philanthropist And Legend”. Odyssey. June 6, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali”. Biography.com. January 18, 2018.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Christopher, Paul J.; Smith, Alicia Marie (2006). Greatest Sports Heroes of All Times: North American Edition. Encouragement Press, LLC. p. 20. ISBN 9781933766096.
- ^ “In pictures: Muhammad Ali’s love affair with Africa”. BBC News. June 9, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Zirin, Dave (June 8, 2016). “Andrew Cuomo Would Have Blacklisted Muhammad Ali”. The Nation. Retrieved September 4,2016.
- ^ Rahman, Mizan (June 6, 2016). “Muhammad Ali’s forgotten land in Bangladesh”. Gulf Times. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Schilling, Vincent (June 4, 2016). “‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali Walks On”. Indian Country Today Media Network. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Hauser 2004, p. 397
- ^ “Muhammad Ali’s Strange, Failed Diplomatic Career”, by Michael Ezra, Politico Magazine, June 5, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- ^ Cuddihy, Martin (June 9, 2016). “Muhammad Ali: Africa remembers the boxing legend”. ABC News (Australia). Retrieved September 4,2016.
- ^ Levin, Josh (June 4, 2016). “The Time Muhammad Ali Stopped a Man From Leaping to His Death”. Slate.
- ^ “Ali Talks Would-Be Jumper Off Ninth-Floor Fire Escape”. The Blade / Associated Press. January 20, 1981.
- ^ “CAMPAIGN NOTES; Muhammad Ali Switches His Support to Reagan”. The New York Times. UPI. October 3, 1984. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali Steps into Ring”. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. June 28, 1985. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Muhammad Ali 2012 Liberty Medal Ceremony”. National Constitution Center. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
- ^ Khaled, Ali (June 4, 2016). “How Muhammad Ali became a sporting hero to the Arab world”. Al Arabiya. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Callahan, Maureen (November 29, 2015). “How Muhammad Ali secured the release of 15 US hostages in Iraq”. New York Post. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali”. Heroism.org. January 17, 1942. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- ^ Brian Becker (June 10, 2016). “I was with Muhammad Ali on his hostage-release trip to Iraq — and the media has it all wrong”. ANSWER Coalition. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
- ^ “60 Million Watch America: A Tribute to Heroes”. ABC News. September 23, 2001. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
- ^ Bulman, May (June 5, 2016). “Muhammad Ali dead: Michael J Fox pays tribute to fellow Parkinson’s disease sufferer and their ‘common fight'”. The Independent. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ “UN Messenger of Peace Muhammad Ali arrives in Afghanistan”. UN News Centre. December 13, 2002. Archived from the original on December 13, 2002. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali visits Kabul”. Getty Images. Archived from the original on March 16, 2010. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- ^ McDonald, Brian (August 12, 2009). “Fightin’ talk as Ennis awaits Muhammed Ali”. Irish Independent. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
- ^ Wilson, Stan (July 28, 2012). “Muhammad Ali returns to the Olympic stage, once again, in London”. CNN. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- ^ “Remembering Muhammad Ali’s legacy as a radical, and peaceful, Muslim”. Quartz. June 7, 2016.
- ^ “Corporal Spinks, you’re the greatest!”. The Age. February 17, 1978.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “His Lifestyle, His Ex-Wives, His Expensive Entourage: They Explain Why Ali Took An $8 Million Beating”. People. October 20, 1980.
- ^ Burkeman, Oliver (April 13, 2006). “Ali, the Greatest, sells his name and image for $50m”. The Guardian.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali, The Top 100 Celebrities”. Forbes Celebrity 100. Forbes. 2006. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali’s Name Likely to Rake in the Cash for Years to Come”. NBC News. June 7, 2016.
- ^ Chasmar, Jessica (February 3, 2013). “Brother: Muhammad Ali ‘could be dead in days'”. The Washington Times. Retrieved September 4,2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali’s daughter: Father watching Super Bowl, not near death”. CBS News. February 5, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia”. The Journal. Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 21, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2014.
- ^ Bucktin, Christopher (January 16, 2015). “Boxing legend Muhammad Ali in hospital after being found ‘unresponsive’ at his home”. The Mirror. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- ^ “Ali out of hospital in time for 73rd birthday”. MSN. Archived from the original on January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
- ^ Martin, Jill (June 2, 2016). “Muhammad Ali hospitalized with respiratory issue”. CNN. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali Dies: ‘The Greatest’ Boxer Dead at 74”. ABC News. June 4, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- ^ Lipsyte, Robert (June 3, 2016). “Muhammad Ali Dies at 74: Titan of Boxing and the 20th Century”. The New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
- ^ Schuppe, Jon (June 4, 2016). “Muhammad Ali Died of Septic Shock, Will Be Honored at Public Funeral: Spokesman”. NBC News. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- ^ Jump up to:a b “Ali: ‘Citizen’ of the world'”. Columbian. June 6, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali Memorial Service”. C-SPAN. June 10, 2016. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- ^ Schreiner, Bruce; Galofaro, Claire (June 7, 2016). “Will Smith, Lennox Lewis among pallbearers for Muhammad Ali, who scripted his own funeral in final days”. nationalpost.com. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali To Be Buried In Louisville Friday”. WFPL. June 4, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali’s funeral to be watched worldwide by billions”. India.com. June 5, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali Islamic Funeral Prayer Service Jenazah scheduled at Freedom Hall”. WHAS-TV. June 6, 2016. Archived from the originalon June 9, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
- ^ Litman, Laken (June 10, 2016). “Will Smith, Mike Tyson among those serving as pallbearers at Muhammad Ali’s funeral | For The Win”. ftw.usatoday.com. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- ^ Hill, Bob (November 19, 2005). “Ali stirs conflicting emotions in hometown”. The Courier-Journal. p. K5.
- ^ Wilstein, Steve, Associated Press, “Retton, Hammill most popular American athletes in United States: poll”; The Daily Gazette, May 17, 1993.
- ^ Quittner, Joshua (June 14, 1999). “Ali—Time 100 People of the Century”. Time.
- ^ “Sports Illustrated honors world’s greatest athletes”. CNN. December 3, 1999.
- ^ “Ali crowned Sportsman of Century”. BBC Sport. December 13, 1999. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- ^ Spears, Marc J. (September 14, 1999). “Ali: The Greatest of 20th century; Show stops when the champ arrives for awards dinner”. The Courier-Journal.
- ^ “President Clinton Awards the Presidential Citizens Medals”. Today at The White House. National Archives and Records Administration. January 8, 2001. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- ^ “Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients”. White House Press Secretary. November 3, 2005. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
- ^ “Bush presents Ali with Presidential Medal of Freedom”. ESPN. November 14, 2005. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- ^ “Briefs: Ali to receive Otto Hahn Medal today in Berlin”. The Seattle Times. December 17, 2005. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- ^ Ryan, Joe (June 5, 2007). “Boxing legend Ali gets Princeton degree”. The Star-Ledger. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
- ^ “Ali Mall: First Ever Shopping Mall Makes A Comeback”. Araneta Center. Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Gross, Josh (2016). Ali vs. Inoki: The Forgotten Fight That Inspired Mixed Martial Arts and Launched Sports Entertainment. BenBella Books. ISBN 9781942952190.
- ^ “What role did boxer Muhammad Ali play in early MMA? Let ‘Ali vs. Inoki’ author Josh Gross explain”. MMAjunkie. June 13, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Grant, T. P. (May 2, 2013). “MMA Origins: Fighting For Pride”. BloodyElbow. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Raimondi, Marc (June 12, 2016). “Click Debate: What’s all this talk about the Ali Act coming to MMA?”. MMAjunkie. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ Klimas, Jacqueline (June 7, 2016). “Rand Paul’s amendment to knock out the draft named after Muhammad Ali”. Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- ^ SI Wire “SI dedicates Sportsman of the Year Legacy Award to Muhammad Ali”, Sports Illustrated, September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- ^ “The Daily Oklahoman”. June 29, 1979.
- ^ “The Courier-Journal”. April 26, 1986.
- ^ “The Most Famous Person Ever”. Voice of America. June 6, 2016.
- ^ “Magazine of the Week (September 28, 2006): Sports Illustrated November 28, 1983”. Dtmagazine.com. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- ^ “Behind TIME’s New Muhammad Ali Cover”. Time. The article cite four times plus the current 2016 adds to five. 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
- ^ “Jordan stays atop Harris Poll ahead of Ruth, Ali”. ESPN. December 31, 2015.
- ^ Smith, Amy (June 9, 2016). “Meet the London busker who worked as Muhammad Ali’s personal musician”. Time Out. Retrieved June 12,2016.
- ^ Michel (January 4, 2014). “Experience: Muhammad Ali was my mentor”. The Guardian. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
- ^ “Muhammad Ali’s appearance on This Is Your Life”. Big Red Book – Celebrating television’s This Is Your Life. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- ^ “10 things you never knew about ‘Diff’rent Strokes'”. MeTV. February 6, 2018.
- ^ Allison, Scott T.; Messick, David M.; Goethals, George R. (1989). “On Being Better but not Smarter than Others: The Muhammad Ali Effect”. Social Cognition. 7 (3): 275–295. doi:10.1521/soco.1922.214.171.1245.
- ^ Van Lange, P. A. M. (December 1, 1991). “Being Better but Not Smarter than Others: The Muhammad Ali Effect at Work in Interpersonal Situations”. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 17 (6): 689–693. doi:10.1177/0146167291176012.
- ^ When We Were Kings (1996) on IMDb
- ^ Ali (2001) on IMDb.
- ^ “FILM, Will Smith peaks as Ali”. BBC News. December 25, 2001. Retrieved December 5, 2010.
- ^ “Hollywood Walk of Fame database”. HWOF.com. Archived from the original on July 1, 2010.
- ^ Christian, Margena A. (April 16, 2007). “How Do You Really Get A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame?”. Jet. Vol. 111 no. 15. pp. 25, 29. Retrieved October 12, 2010 – via Google Books.
- ^ “A Star for the Greatest”. Jet. Vol. 101 no. 6. January 28, 2002. p. 52. Retrieved September 22, 2010 – via Google Books.
- ^ “The Trials of Muhammad Ali”. Kartemquin Educational Films. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Hauser, Thomas (2004). Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times. London: Robson Books. ISBN 978-1-86105-738-9. OCLC 56645513.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Muhammad Ali.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Muhammad Ali|
- Official website
- Muhammad Ali at Find a Grave
- Muhammad Ali on IMDb
- Professional boxing record for Muhammad Ali from BoxRec
- William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services: Ancestry of Muhammad Ali
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Muhammad Ali discography at Discogs
- FBI Records: The Vault – Muhammad Ali at the FBI
- “Cassius Clay: Before He Was Ali”. Life. Archived from the original on October 21, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
- Berman, Eliza; Ronk, Liz (June 4, 2016). “Muhammad Ali’s Life in Photos; From his time in the ring to his more playful side”. Life. time.com. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
|showvteOlympic boxing champions – men’s light heavyweight|
|showvteArthur Ashe Courage Award winners|
|showvteCity of Louisville and metro area|
- Muhammad Ali
- 1942 births
- 2016 deaths
- 20th-century Muslims
- 21st-century Muslims
- Activists from Kentucky
- African-American boxers
- African-American male rappers
- African-American Muslims
- African-American poets
- Activists for African-American civil rights
- American anti–Vietnam War activists
- American conscientious objectors
- American former Protestants
- American male boxers
- American Muslim activists
- American people of Malagasy descent
- American spoken word poets
- American Sufis
- Boxers at the 1960 Summer Olympics
- Boxers from Kentucky
- Burials at Cave Hill Cemetery
- Central High School (Louisville, Kentucky) alumni
- COINTELPRO targets
- Columbia Records artists
- Converts to Sunni Islam from Protestantism
- Deaths from sepsis
- Disease-related deaths in Arizona
- Former Nation of Islam members
- International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees
- Medalists at the 1960 Summer Olympics
- Olympic boxers of the United States
- Olympic cauldron lighters
- Olympic gold medalists for the United States in boxing
- Overturned convictions in the United States
- People from Cherry Hill, New Jersey
- People from Paradise Valley, Arizona
- People with Parkinson’s disease
- People with traumatic brain injuries
- Presidential Citizens Medal recipients
- Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
- Professional wrestling referees
- The Ring champions
- Sportspeople from Chicago
- Sportspeople from Louisville, Kentucky
- Sportspeople from the Delaware Valley
- Winners of the United States Championship for amateur boxers
- World Boxing Association champions
- World Boxing Council champions
- World heavyweight boxing champions
- Writers from Kentucky
- 20th-century American rappers
- BBC Sports Personality World Sport Star of the Year winners