Muhammad Ali is one of the most famous boxers of all time. His conversion to Islam and draft evasion conviction surrounded him with controversy and even exile from boxing for three years. Despite the hiatus, his quick reflexes and strong punches helped Muhammad Ali become the first person in history to win the heavyweight champion title three times. At the lighting ceremony at the 1996 Olympics, Muhammad Ali showed the world his strength and determination in dealing with the debilitating effects of Parkinson's syndrome. Dates: January 17, 1942 --
Also Known As: (born as) Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., "The Greatest," the Louisville Lip
Sonji Roi (1964 - 1966)
Belinda Boyd (1967 - circa 1977)
Veronica Porche (1977 - 1996)
Yolanda "Lonnie" Williams (1996 - Present)
Childhood of Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. at 6:35 p.m. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky to Cassius Clay Sr. and Odessa Grady Clay. Cassius Clay Sr. was a muralist, but painted signs for a living. Odessa Clay worked as a housecleaner and a cook. Two years after Muhammad Ali was born, the couple had another son, Rudolph ("Rudy"). The Stolen Bicycle: Muhammad Ali Becomes a Boxer
When Muhammad Ali was 12 years old, he and a friend went to the Columbia Auditorium to partake in the free hot dogs and popcorn available for visitors of the Louisville Home Show. When the boys were done eating, they went back to get their bicycles only to discover that Muhammad Ali's had been stolen. Furious, Muhammad Ali went to the basement of the Columbia Auditorium to report the crime to police officer Joe Martin, who was also a boxing coach at the Columbia Gym. When Muhammad Ali said he wanted to beat up the person who stole his bike, Martin told him that he should probably learn to fight first. A few days later, Muhammad Ali began boxing training at Martin's gym.
From the very beginning, Muhammad Ali took his training seriously. He trained six days a...
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