The death of Muhammad Ail on June 3, 2016 shocked the world. Born Cassius Clay, he was renowned as ‘the people’s champion’ and is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers – if not the greatest – in history and one of the finest athletes the world has ever seen. Check out these 9 awesome things Muhammad Ali did with his life.
He claimed the World Boxing Association’s Heavyweight title three times: from 1967-68, from 1974-78, then again from 1978-79.
2. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from George W. Bush for his outstanding contribution to and achievements in boxing.
3. Much of his time before and after retirement was spent promoting various causes, such as civil rights, world peace, hunger relief, humanitarianism and cross-cultural understanding.
4. He visited Iraq to help secure the release of American hostages being held there.
5. He stood up for his religious beliefs and inspired many to do the same when he refused to take part in the Vietnam War because he was a practising Muslim minister.
6. He devoted a lot of time to helping the less needy, regularly hand-delivering both medical supplies in food to disadvantaged children in places such as Indonesia, Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire.
7. At the 1960 Summer Olympics, which was held in Rome, he won Gold in the light heavyweight boxing category.
8. In 1966 he was chosen to light the Olympic flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia.
9. He opened the Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, but didn’t want it to just be a museum of his achievements – he wanted it to inspire others to be the best they could be.