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Muhammad Ali Biography

Birth Name:
Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.
Birth Place:
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Boxer, activist

Fast Facts

  • Converted to Islam in 1963 and was given the name Muhammad Ali (which means Beloved of Allah) by Elijah Muhammad
  • As an amateur, won six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two National Golden Gloves titles and the Olympic gold medal for boxing in the light heavyweight division
  • As a pro, won the World Heavyweight Championship three times (the only boxer in history to do so) and compiled a record of 56 wins and 5 losses, with 37 knockouts
  • In 1967, refused to serve in the Vietnam War and was stripped of his title, barred from the ring and sentenced to five years in prison
  • Three and a half years later, the Supreme Court overturned his conviction and he resumed his boxing career
  • Was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in the early 1980s
  • Memorably lit the Olympic cauldron at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta
  • Was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002, but after he requested his name not be walked on, the star was mounted to a vertical surface
  • Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005