Known as the Greatest, Muhammad Ali was a figure that was larger than life. He was one of the best boxers in American history, yet he was so much more than an athlete. Ali was also unafraid to stand up for himself outside of the boxing ring. He is well known for his refusal to be drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. It came at great personal cost to him, as he had to fight a huge legal battle and endure an absence of fighting in any Boxing Matches, as he did not have a license. Like any great individual, he was able to bounce back from his troubled place and he went on to win some of the greatest matches in his career including the rumble in the jungle with George Foreman.
Born as Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali stumbled into boxing practically by accident. His bike was stolen and he went to file a police report. The policeman taking the report also happened to be a boxing coach and he invited the young Muhammad Ali to join his gym. It worked, while he wasn’t the greatest athlete in the gym when he started, he certainly was the greatest when he left the gym, and he reached the pinnacle for any amateur athletic career when he won a Gold Medal for Boxing at the Rome Olympics. Eventually, Muhammad Ali moved onto bigger and better things and started boxing at the professional level. He won many matches and was the scariest person you could ever face in the ring during his time. During his career, he also converted to Islam and changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali died this past weekend after he was hospitalized for breathing problems. Since the 1980’s, he had suffered from Parkinson’s disease. Muhammad Ali also had an interesting personal life. His nine children from four different wives survive him.