Muhammad Ali (SplashNews)
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
“I only said I was the greatest, not the smartest”
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17 1942) is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist. When Muhammad was 22-years-old, he won his first world heavyweight championship. He joined the Nation of Islam in 1964, and then converted to Sunni Islam in 1975. In 1967, Muhammad was publicly vilified for his refusal to be conscripted into the U.S. military, which he had refused to join due to his religious beliefs and his opposition to the war. He was arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and he was stripped of his boxing title. He appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he won the right to box again. Muhammad is the first and only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion.
Muhammad’s boxing match against rival Joe Frazier is considered among the greatest in boxing history, and he was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC in 1999.
Best Known For:
Being a professional heavyweight boxer, and for his catchphrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Muhammad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1984. He has been married four times, and he has seven children: Maryum (b. 1968), Jamillah (b. 1970) Rasheda (b. 1970), Muhammad Ali, Jr. (b. 1972), Hanna (b. 1977), Laila (B. 1977), and adopted son Assad. He also has two love children: Miya and Khaliah. In 1986, Ali married Lonnie Williams, his current wife.