Black History Month Profiles: Muhammad Ali

Former boxer and activist considered one of the world’s greatest athletes


Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston. Ali declared the winner.

Social activist, philanthropist, and athlete, Muhammad Ali is widely considered to be one of the greatest athletes in the twentieth century.

Ali held the world heavyweight boxing champion title three times, and he became a Olympic gold medalist in 1960. In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder. Ali retired at the age of 39, holding a record 56 wins, five losses, ad 37 knockouts. Two of Ali’s more famous fights were against George Forman and Joe Frazier.

Convicted of violating selective service laws when he refused to serve in Vietnam, Ali was sentenced to five years but served none as his conviction later overturned.

After retirement, Ali turned to philanthropy and won many awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the President’s award from the NAACP.  He passed on June 3, 2016, after being hospitalized for a respiratory issue.