Muhammad Ali, Olympic Athlete

Muhammad Ali 1942-
Athlete, Olympic Gold Medalist, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion; born Cassius Clay
Birthplace: Louisville, KY

Muhammad Ali was the 1960 Olympic light heavyweight boxing champion, and went on to become the three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, from 1964 to 1967, from 1974 to 1978, and from 1978 to 1979. In 1964, Ali adopted the Black Muslim faith and changed his name from Cassius Clay. He was stripped of his championship boxing title in 1967 for refusing to join the U.S. Army on religious grounds; the verdict was reversed by the Supreme Court in 1971. His flamboyant style, religious commitment, and remarkable 56 and 5 record have made Muhammad Ali a role model for all races.

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Black History MonthReturn to the Encyclopedia of Prominent African Americans.

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