Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942 and he was an American professional boxer, activist, actor, poet and philanthropist. 

Muhammad Ali Biography

He was a descendant of slaves from the antebellum South, and was predominantly of African descent, with some Irish  and English family heritage. Ali’s maternal great-grandfather, Abe Grady, emigrated from Ennis, Ireland. 

DNA tests conducted in 2018 showed that, through his paternal grandmother, Ali was a descendant of former slave Archer Alexander, who had been chosen from the construction team as the model of a freed man for the Monument to Emancipation and was the subject of abolitionist William Greenleaf Eliot‘s book, The Story of Archer Alexander: From Slavery to Freedom .  

His father was a poster and billboard painter, and his mother, Odessa O’Grady Clay (1917-1994), was a domestic worker. Although Cassius Sr. was a Methodist, he allowed Odessa to raise both Cassius Jr. and his younger brother, Rudolph “Rudy” Clay (later renamed Rahman Ali), as Baptists. 

Cassius Jr. attended Central High School in Louisville. He was dyslexic, which caused him difficulty reading and writing, at school and for much of his life. Ali grew up amid racial segregation. His mother recalled a time when she was denied a drink of water in a store.muhammad-ali-biography.jpg

That really affected him.”He was also heavily affected by the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, prompting young Clay and a friend to vent their frustration by vandalizing a local railroad station. His daughter Hana later wrote that Ali once told her, “Nothing would shock me more than the Emmett Till story.”

Muhammad Ali Jr.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.  was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky.  He had a brother. It was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr., who had one sister and four brothers and who himself was named after the 19th-century Republican politician and staunch abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay, also from the state of Kentucky. 

Cassius  was one of the greatest athletes in the world.

Muhammad Ali Record

His place in boxing history as one of the greatest fighters ever . His final record of 56 wins and 5 losses with 37 knockouts is matched by others, but the quality of his opponents and the manner in which he was dominating during his prime was placing him in a place with boxing’s immortals.muhammad-ali-record.jpg

Muhammad Ali Career

Clay made his professional debut on October 29, 1960, winning a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker. From then until the end of 1963, Clay compiled a record of 19-0 with 15 knockout wins. He defeated boxers like Tony Esperti, Jim Robinson, Donnie Fleeman, Alonzo Johnson, George Logan, Willi Besmanoff, LaMar Clark, Doug Jones and Henry Cooper. Clay also defeated his former trainer and veteran boxer Archie Moore in a 1962 match. 

These first fights were not without tests. Clay was taken down by both Sonny Banks and Cooper. In the Cooper fight, Clay was dropped by a left hook late in the fourth round and was saved by the bell, going on to win in the scheduled fifth round due to Cooper’s severely cut eye. 

The fight with Doug Jones on March 13, 1963 was Clay’s toughest fight during this stretch. Clay and Jones, the number two and three heavyweight contenders respectively, fought on Jones’ own turf at New York’s Madison Square Garden. 

Jones staggered Clay in the first round, and Clay’s unanimous decision was met with boos and a hail of debris being thrown into the ring. While he watched a closed circuit television, heavyweight champion Sonny Liston joked that if he fought Clay he could be put away for murder. The fight was later named “Fight of the Year” by The Ring magazine . muhammad-ali-career.jpg

In each of these fights, Clay vocally belittled his opponents and bragged about his skills. He called Jones “an ugly little man” and Cooper a “tramp”. He said he was embarrassed to get in the ring with Alex Miteff and said Madison Square Garden was “too small for me.”

Ali’s trash talk was inspired by that of professional wrestler “Gorgeous George” Wagner, after he saw that George’s speaking ability drew large crowds to events.

Ali stated in a 1969 interview with Hubert Mizel of the Associated Press that he met George in Las Vegas in 1961, that George told him that talking about a big game would make money for fans who wanted to see him win or wanted to do so. Watching him lose, Ali transformed into a self-described “loudmouth and braggart.” 

In 1960, Clay left Moore’s camp, in part because Clay refused to do chores like washing dishes and sweeping. To replace Moore, Clay hired Angelo Dundee to coach him. Clay had met Dundee in February 1957 during Clay’s amateur career.  Around this time, Clay sought out idol Sugar Ray Robinson to manage him, but was turned down.

Muhammad Ali Qoutes 

“I’m the greatest, because I was saying it before I even knew I was.”

“It’s not bragging if you have something to hold it with.”muhammad-ali-qoutes.jpg

“The man who is seeing the world at 50 the same way he saw it at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

“I want people to love each other the way they love me. It would be a better world.”

“I saw a horror movie, Baron Blood, which scared me. Bought with that, beating (George) Foreman in Kinshasa was just another day in the gym.”

“Foreman was a hopeless loser at the time, he blamed my wins on everything you can imagine. But today I like him, I even use his grill”.

Muhammad Ali Net Worth

He was a retired American boxer who had a net worth of $50 million at the time of his death.

Muhammad Ali Daughter

He have seven daughters and two sons.muhammad-ali-daughter.jpg

Ali’s daughter, Laila, was a professional boxer from 1999 to 2007,  despite her father’s previous opposition to women’s boxing. In 1978, she said, “Women aren’t cut out to be punched in the chest and have that face.”  Ali still attended several of his daughter’s fights and later admitted to Laila that he was wrong.

Ali’s daughter Hana is married to Bellator middleweight fighter Kevin Casey. Hana wrote of her father: “His love for people was extraordinary. He would come home from school to find homeless families sleeping in our spare room. He would see them on the street, pack them into his Rolls-Royce and drive them home.

Muhammad Ali Spouse

Ali was introduced to cocktail waitress Sonji Roi by Herbert Muhammad and asked her to marry him after her first date. They were married about a month later, on August 14, 1964.  They fell out over Sonji’s refusal to join the Nation of Islam. 

According to Ali, “She wouldn’t do what she was supposed to do. She wore lipstick, went to bars, wore revealing clothes and didn’t look good.”  The couple was childless and they divorced on January 10, 1966.

Just before the divorce was finalized, Ali sent Sonji a note: “You traded heaven for hell, honey.” Ali’s brother Rahman said that she was Ali’s only true love and that the Nation of Islam made Ali divorce her and that Ali never got over him. 

On August 17, 1967, he married Belinda Boyd. They had four children: author and rapper Maryum  “May May” (born 1968); twins Jamillah and Rasheda (born 1970), who married Robert Walsh and have a son, Biaggio Ali, born in 1998; and Muhammad Ali Jr. muhammad-ali-and-belinda-boyd.jpg

Ali was a resident of Cherry Hill, New Jersey in the early 1970s.  At age 32 in 1974, Ali began an extramarital affair with 16-year-old Wanda Bolton (who later changed her name to Aaisha Ali). with whom he had another daughter, Khaliah (born 1974). 

While still married to Belinda, Ali married Aaisha in an Islamic ceremony that was not legally recognized. According to Khaliah, Aaisha and her mother lived at the Ali’s Deer Lake training camp with Belinda and her children. 

In January 1985, Aaisha sued Ali for unpaid child support. The case was settled when Ali agreed to set up a $200,000 trust fund for Khaliah. In 2001, Khaliah was quoted as saying that she believed her father viewed her as “a mistake”.  She had another daughter, Miya (born 1972), from an extramarital affair with Patricia Harvell. 

By the summer of 1977, his second marriage was ending due to Ali’s repeated infidelity, and he had married actress and model Veronica Porché.  At the time of their marriage, they was having a daughter, Hana, and Veronica was pregnant with her second child. His second daughter, Laila Ali, was born in December 1977.

In 1986, Ali and Porché divorced due to Ali’s continued infidelity. Porché said of Ali’s infidelity: “It was too much temptation for him, with women throwing themselves at him, it didn’t mean anything. He didn’t have affairs, he had one-night stands. He knew without a doubt that there.” there were no feelings involved. It was so obvious that it was easy to forgive him.muhammad-ali-and-veronica-porche.jpg

On November 19, 1986, Ali married Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams. Lonnie met Ali at the age of 6 when her family moved to Louisville in 1963.  In 1982, she became Ali’s primary caregiver, and in return, he paid her to attend graduate school. at UCLA. 

Together they adopted a son, Asaad Amin (born 1986), when Asaad was five months old.  In 1992, Lonnie incorporated Greatest of All Time, Inc. (GOAT Inc) to consolidate and license her intellectual properties for commercial purposes. She served as vice president and treasurer until the company’s sale in 2006. 

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