If you didn't see Muhammad Ali's accomplishments during his career, then you probably heard about them . . . from Ali. If there was one skill Ali had that matched his boxing, it was his talking. Born Cassius Clay, Ali converted to Islam in 1964 and changed his name. He captured his first heavyweight title the same year, upsetting Sonny Liston. In 1967, Ali was stripped of his title after refusing to be drafted into the Army. It would be nearly 4 years until Ali was allowed to box again. In 1971, Ali began his epic trilogy of bouts with Joe Frazier. Frazier won the first bout, handing Ali his first defeat. After winning their rematch, Ali was given a chance at the heavyweight title versus George Foreman, which he won despite being favored to lose. In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, attributed to the head trauma he received from boxing. In 1996, he lit the flame for the 1996 Olympics.
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.; January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer, philanthropist and social activist. Considered a cultural icon, Ali has both been idolized and vilified. Originally known as Cassius Clay, Ali changed his name after joining the Nation of Islam in 1964, subsequently converting to Sunni Islam in 1975, and more recently practicing Sufism. In 1967, three years after Ali had won the World Heavyweight Championship, he was publicly vilified for his refusal to be conscripted into the U.S. military, based on his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. His 1966 statement, 'Man, I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong', was one of the more telling remarks of that era.
Contributions by Stevietheman, CryptoDerk, and Gareth Owen.