Muhammad Ali, seen by many as the world’s greatest boxer, passed away on June 3rd in the current city he called home Scottsdale, Arizona. Born under the name Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17th, 1942, Ali changed his name to Muhammad Ali after winning the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome at the age of 18. Coming from a modest home, this Kentucky native was heavily involved during the civil rights movement speaking up for those who couldn’t. He also drew attention after refusing to sign up for the draft for the Vietnam War. Because of Ali’s actions he was stripped of his many boxing titles that he had accumulated over the years. Ali took the case to the Supreme Court and in 1971 regained his boxing titles. During the legal battle, Ali was banned from boxing for 3 years and fined $10,000. This didn’t slow Ali down however, because 2 of his 3 lineal world heavyweight championship wins were after his 3 year break. With an outstanding record of 56 wins from a total of 61 fights it’s no surprise that Muhammad Ali was beloved by the boxing community.
Building on his brand Ali also had a presence in the music and film industries. He received two Grammy nominations, and also wrote two autobiographies. In 1984 Muhammad Ali diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome. Parkinson’s disease, which is a neurodegenerative illness, can be characterized by tremors and postural instability. Once again this didn’t bring Ali down as he still had a voice in much political matter and devoted his time to service. Through his later years Ali’s health was degenerating due to his Parkinsonism, and he was hospitalized many times for various health issue leading up to his death this year. Muhammad Ali is an inspiration to many people and his legacy will live on. “Don’t count the days; make the days count.” –Muhammad Ali