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Muhammad Ali

In all of boxing history, Muhammad Ali stands alone. In early boasts, he called himself "The Greatest," and by the time his storied career came to an end, most fight fans agreed. Ali had also become the best-known athlete in the world and, very possibly, the best loved as well. Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. The son of Cassius Marcellus Sr., a sign and mural painter, and Odessa Grady, a housewife, Cassius may have been born "junior," but the eldest son of the Clay family was destined for true greatness.
While a student at DuValle Junior High School and Central High, a young soon-to-be Muhammad Ali was always more interested in boxing rather than keeping his nose in the books. Actually, the theft of his bicycle is what led to his passion for boxing in the first place. Ali reported the theft of his bike to a policeman, who set him up with boxing trainer Fred Stoner.
Ali used Stoner's help to become a star boxer in his high school days, where he won 6 Kentucky championships, 2 national Golden Glove championships, and 2 Amateur Athletic Union Championships. Then at the age of 18, Ali went on to become an Olympic Gold medallist in the 1960 Rome Olympics. When he returned to his native Louisville, the light heavyweight champion became a professional boxer.
On February 25, 1964, Ali fought Sonny Liston in Miami, defeating Liston to win the Heavyweight Champion of the World. But the hype and attention worthy of the fight was not solely based on Ali's victory, rather his boastful lyrics and witty rhymes both in and out of the ring, even early on in his illustrious career. His ability "to float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" garnered Ali attention as a graceful yet powerful boxer, and a confident (to say the least) person.
Not long after his championship, Ali began to make a difference on both political and racial fronts. He became openly disgusted with the racism towards African Americans in his own country, and d...

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