Name at Birth: Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.
Known As: Muhammad Ali
Birthday: January 17, 1942
Place of Birth: Kentucky, U.S
Best Known For: Being the World's Greatest Boxer
One day in October, 12 year old Cassius Clay rode his brand new red bicycle to the Columbia Auditorium where he worked in the library. When he had finished work he was shocked to find that his bike was no longer there, this incident would change Cassius Clay’s life for good. As angry Cassius reported his bike stolen to a local police officer named Joe Martin, he told Joe that he was going to find the thief and “Whup him” for stealing his new bike. Cassis had no idea that as well as being a police officer Joe was also a boxing coach. Joe offered to coach Cassius and Cassius accepted... and a star was born!
At the age of 22 Cassius converted to the religion of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Muhammad often spoke out about racial and social injustice (things that were unfair). Muhammad was a key figure in the civil rights movement and often protested for the equal rights of black people and people of colour. Muhammad Ali famously refused to fight as a soldier in the Vietnam War, Muhammad said “My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother…” he felt that the war was wrong and even though he was threatened with a 5 year prison sentence he refused to join the American Army.
Muhammad is known as one of the world’s greatest athletes! His amazing boxing skills, sense of humour, Witty remarks and unyielding political views have made him a beloved and well respected world icon.
During his career Ali won a total of 56 fights, including 37 knock outs! Ali was the Olympic gold medallist in 1960 and the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964.
Ali said: “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”