Muhammad Ali who was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on 17th January 1942 – 3rd June 3) was an exceptional professional boxer, who is generally regarded as one of the most significant heavyweight champions in the history of the sport. Early in his career, Ali was known for being an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the boxing ring. He is known as 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.
Ali (as Clay) began training at 12 years old. At the age of 22, he won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a stunning upset in 1964. Shortly after that, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name. He converted to Sunni Islam in 1975. Ali retired from boxing permanently in 1981.
Let’s take a look at his life in photos and famous quotes…
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.
I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want
The man who has no imagination has no wings.
It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.
Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.
It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.
Muhammad Ali (74) – 17 January 1942 – 3 June 2016