JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 1970THE GREATEST HEAVYWEIGHT BOXER OF ALL TIME IS DEAD
Phoenix, Arizona (JFK+50) In 2010 President Barack Obama wrote that the quality he admired most in Muhammad Ali* was "his unique ability to summon extraordinary strength and courage in the face of adversity, to navigate the storm and never lose his way."
The world lost the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time last night, June 3, 2016, at the age of 74 here in Phoenix. Muhammad Ali died of complications of Parkinson's Disease which he had battled for thirty-two years. Ali will be laid to rest in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1964, Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, despite being a 7 to 1 underdog, defeated Sonny Liston to become Heavyweight Champion of the World. Ali would go on to win two more world championships.
Muhammad Ali later said...
"I never thought of the possibility of failure, only of the fame and glory I was going to get when I won."
After his first world championship, Cassius Clay converted to the Nation of Islam and changed his "slave name" to Muhammad Ali. After being drafted into the military in 1967, as a conscientious objector he refused to serve in the Vietnam War.
In 1996, despite the effects of Parkinson's, Muhammad Ali proudly lit the Olympic Torch as 3.5 billion people world-wide looked on. In 1960, Cassius Clay won an Olympic Gold Medal but later, after being refused service at a soda fountain back in the United States, "threw his gold medal into a river."
In 2005, Barack Obama presented Muhammad Ali with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
*Muhammad Ali, a.k.a. Cassius Marcellus Clay (1942-2016) was born in Louisville, KY & named after a 19th century abolitionist. CMC made his professional boxing debut on October 29, 1960 & went on to a 19-0 record. MA was a three-time world heavyweight champion and is considered the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.
"Muhammad Ali,'The Greatest of All Time' Dead at 74," by John Schuppe, NBC NEWS, www.abcnews.com/
"What Muhammad Ali Means To Me," by Barack Obama, USA TODAY, 2010.
Ali with The Beatles
February 18, 1964
Photo by Autore Sconusciuto
Presidential Medal of Freedom