Read

English Hindi

Biography

Politics & War

Sportstars

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali
EARLY LIFE
  • Ali was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. His birth name was Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.
  • At an early age, young Clay showed that he wasn’t afraid of any bout — inside or outside of the ring. Growing up in the segregated South, he experienced racial prejudice and discrimination firsthand.
  • At the age of 12, Clay discovered his talent for boxing through an odd twist of fate. After his bike was stolen, Clay told a police officer, Joe Martin, that he wanted to beat up the thief.
 BOXING
  • Clay started working with Martin to learn how to spar and soon began his boxing career. In his first amateur bout in 1954, he won the fight by split decision.
  • Clay went on to win the 1956 Golden Gloves tournament for novices in the light heavyweight class. Three years later, he won the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, as well as the Amateur Athletic Union’s national title for the light heavyweight division.
BOXING
  • In 1960, Clay won a spot on the U.S. Olympic boxing team, and traveled to Rome, Italy, to compete. After winning his first three bouts, Clay defeated Zbigniew Pietrzkowski of Poland to win the light heavyweight Olympic gold medal.
  • After his Olympic victory, Clay was heralded as an American hero. He soon turned professional with the backing of the Louisville Sponsoring Group and continued overwhelming all opponents in the ring.
TROUBLE YEARS
  • Clay joined the black Muslim group Nation of Islam in 1964. At first, he called himself Cassius X before settling on the name Muhammad Ali. The boxer eventually converted to orthodox Islam during the 1970s.
  • Ali started a different kind of fight with his outspoken views against the Vietnam War. Drafted into the military in April 1967, he refused to serve on the grounds that he was a practicing Muslim minister with religious beliefs that prevented him from fighting.
  • He was arrested for committing a felony and almost immediately stripped of his world title and boxing license.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice pursued a legal case against Ali, denying his claim for conscientious objector status. He was found guilty of violating Selective Service laws and sentenced to five years in prison in June 1967 but remained free while appealing his conviction.
LATER
  • Unable to compete professionally in the meantime, Ali missed more than three prime years of his athletic career. Ali returned to the ring in 1970 with a win over Jerry Quarry, and the U.S. Supreme Court eventually overturned the conviction in June 1971.
  • Ali was married four times and had nine children, including two children he fathered outside of marriage.
  • In 1984, Ali announced that he had Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological condition. In his retirement, Ali devoted much of his time to philanthropy.Ali traveled to numerous countries, including Mexico and Morocco, to help out those in need. In 1998, he was chosen to be a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

 LATER

  • Ali died on June 3, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona, after being hospitalized for what was reportedly a respiratory issue. He was 74 years old.
  • The boxing legend had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and spinal stenosis. In early 2015, the athlete battled pneumonia and was hospitalized for a severe urinary tract infection.
  • Ali had a career record of 56 wins, five losses and 37 knockouts before his retirement from boxing in 1981 at the age of 39.