Muhammad Ali

American champion boxer, philanthropist, and activist

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942. 

Cassius won two national Golden Gloves titles, two Amateur Athletic Union national titles and 100 victories against eight losses, by the age of eighteen. After graduating from high school, he traveled to Rome and won the light heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics. After winning his first 19 fights, including 15 knockouts, Cassius received his first title shot on February 25, 1964, against reigning heavyweight champion Sonny Liston (1932-1970). 

Cassius also became a member of the controversial Nation of Islam. On March 6, 1964, Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975) bestowed on Clay the name of Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali was a civil rights activist, befriending and seen campaigning with historical figures like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

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