Muhammad Ali - Fast Facts
Here is a look at the life of Cassius Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali, three-time World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic gold medalist.
Personal: Birth date: January 17, 1942
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky
Birth name: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.
Father: Cassius (Cash) Clay, a sign and mural painter
Mother: Odessa (Grady) Clay.
Marriages: Yolanda (Lonnie) Williams (November 19, 1986 - present); Veronica Porche (1977 - 1985, divorce); Kalilah Tolona (Belinda Boyd) (1967 - 1976, divorce); Sonji Roi (1964 - 1966, divorce)
Children: Adopted with Yolanda: Assad; with Veronica: Laila (1977) and Hana (1976); with Kalilah: Muhammad Ibo (1972), Rasheeda and Jamilla (1970); Maryum (1968); Miya (mother and date of birth unknown); Khalilah (mother and date of birth unknown)
Other Facts: Nickname: The Greatest. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee", describes his style.
He became interested in boxing after reporting the theft of his bike to a policeman who gave boxing lessons at a local community center.
As an amateur boxer, Cassius Clay won 100 of 108 fights, including six Kentucky Golden Gloves championships.
Rhyming is one of his trademarks. "They all fall in the round I call", "rope-a-dope", "rumble in the jungle," and "thrilla in Manila."
His book, "GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali," weighs 75-pounds, and is covered in silk and Louis Vuitton leather. It has 792 pages, is 20-by-20-inches, and has 600,000 words and more than 3,000 images. GOAT stands for Greatest of All Time. Ten thousand were published. The first 1,000 were signed and sold for $7,500. The other 9,000 sold for $3,000 each.
Timeline: 1959 - Wins National Golden Gloves championship as a light heavyweight and qualifies for the US Olympic team.
1960 - Wins Olympic gold and National Golden Gloves championship, both for light heavyweight. Returns from the Olympics and turns pro.
February 25, 1964 - Defeats Sonny Liston, by KO in the seventh round, for the title of World Heavyweight Champion.
1964 - Converts and joins the Nation of Islam, changes his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.
May 25, 1965 - Rematch with Liston, wins again by KO in the first round.
April 28, 1967 - As a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, Ali refuses induction into the U.S. Army. The World Boxing Association strips him of his world title. New York and other states revoke his license to box.
June 20, 1967 - Convicted in federal court of violating Selective Service laws, sentenced to five years in prison, and fined $10,000.
October 26, 1970 - Ali's first professional fight in more than three years, defeats Jerry Quarry, by KO in the third round.
March 8, 1971 - Known as the "Fight of the Century," Ali and Joe Frazier split a $5 million purse at Madison Square Garden for Frazier's title. After 15 rounds, it's Ali's first professional loss.
June 28, 1971 - The U.S. Supreme Court reverses Ali's Selective Service violation conviction in a unanimous ruling.
July 26, 1971 - Defeats Jimmy Ellis, by KO in the twelfth round, for the NABF (North American Boxing Federation) heavyweight title.
September 20, 1972 - Defeats Floyd Patterson, by KO in the seventh round, retaining the NABF title.
March 31, 1973 - Loses NABF title to Ken Norton in the twelfth round.
September 10, 1973 - Regains the NABF title in the twelfth round of the rematch with Ken Norton.
January 23, 1974 - Brawls with Joe Frazier at the New York studio of ABC, both fined $5,000.
January 28, 1974 - Defeats Joe Frazier in 12 rounds and retains his NABF title.
October 30, 1974 - "The Rumble in the Jungle" place in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). Ali defeats George Foreman, by KO in the eighth round, to again become the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.
1975 - Leaves the Nation of Islam to practice the more mainstream Islamic faith.
October 1, 1975 - The "Thrilla in Manila," against Joe Frazier, is another victory when Frazier's manager, Eddie Futch, fearing for Frazier's safety, ends the match before the start of round fifteen.
February 15, 1978 - Loses his heavyweight title to Leon Spinks after fifteen rounds and a split decision.
September 15, 1978 - Regains title from Leon Spinks with a unanimous decision after fifteen rounds, becoming heavyweight champion of the world for the third time.
June 26, 1979 - Retires from professional boxing.
October 2, 1980 - Comes out of retirement for a guaranteed purse of $8 million, a chance for the World Boxing Council title and loses to Larry Holmes by KO in the eleventh round. First signs of Parkinson's are seen in public.
December 11, 1981 - Loses to Trevor Berbick, after ten rounds and a unanimous decision; this is his last professional fight.
1984 - Reveals that he has Parkinson's syndrome, a disorder of the central nervous system.
November 27, 1990 - Meets with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, attempts to negotiate release of Americans held hostage in Iraq and Kuwait.
December 2, 1990 - Leaves Iraq with 14 hostages.
July 19, 1996 - Lights the torch at the opening ceremonies to the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
February 4, 1999 - First boxer to appear on front of a Wheaties cereal box.
October 23, 2000 - Appointed United Nations Messenger of Peace.
November 9, 2005 - Presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.
November 21, 2005 - The Muhammad Ali Center opens in Louisville, Kentucky.
April 11, 2006 - Entertainment and licensing firm CKX announces that it is paying Ali $50 million in exchange for 80 percent of whatever it makes selling his name and likeness. Under the agreement, Ali has 20 percent control of the newly formed company G.O.A.T. LLC, which stands for "Greatest of All Time."
May 24, 2011 - Publicly appeals to Iranian officials for the release of captive hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal.
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