Muhammad Ali

Professional Boxer, Boxer

1942 –

55

Who is Muhammad Ali?

Muhammad Ali is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history. A controversial and even polarizing figure during his early career, Ali is today widely regarded not only for the skills he displayed in the ring but for the values he exemplified outside of it: religious freedom, racial justice and the triumph of principle over expedience. He is one of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC.

Born Cassius Clay, at the age of 22 he won the world heavyweight championship in 1964 from Sonny Liston in a stunning upset. Shortly after that bout, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name. He subsequently converted to Sunni Islam in 1975, and later to Sufism.

In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title, Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title. He did not fight again for nearly four years—losing a time of peak performance in an athlete's career. Ali's appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where in 1971 his conviction was overturned.

Famous Quotes:

  • The man who has no imagination has no wings.
  • Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.
  • It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.
  • It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself.
  • I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
  • He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
  • I run on the road, long before I dance under the lights.
  • When you are as great as I am it is hard to be humble.
  • Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision.
  • I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.

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Born
Jan 17, 1942
Louisville
Also known as
  • Cassius Clay
  • Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.
  • The Louisville Lip
  • The People's Champion
  • The Greatest
  • Muhammed Ali
  • Cassisus Clay
  • Cassius Marcellus Clay
  • Muhammad & Lonnie Ali and their families
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Sufism
Ethnicity
  • African American
  • Irish American
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Central High School
    ( - 1958)

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Muhammad Ali." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 27 Jun 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/muhammad_ali>.

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