Muhammad Ali

On January 17th 1942 a boy named Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr was born in Louisville, Kentucky.  He later on changed his name to Muhammad Ali.  When he was 12 years old someone stole his bike which made him very angry and he told a police officer that he was going to beat that person up.  That officer was a boxing coach and told Muhammad that he needed to learn to fight before trying to beat anyone up.  He was then inspired to learn to box and quickly discovered he had a real talent for it.  He was much quicker than any other fighter his size and was quickly considered one of the best amateur boxers in the world.  He went on to have a record of 56 wins, 38 of which were won by knock-out.  When he was 25 years old the United States went to war with Vietnam and he was drafted into the army.  He refused to serve in the army and authorities treated that as a crime and took away his boxing championship titles, boxing license, and put him in jail.  After a few years fighting to get out of jail he won back his rights to box again.  Muhammad was known for his “rope-a-dope” boxing technique and his clever rhymes, such as “float like a butterfly sting like a bee.”  He went on to win the World’s Heavyweight boxing championship 3 times and then became an activist for African American rights.  He also donated millions of dollars to feeding the hungry and traveled around the world to visit places that needed financial support.  When he was 63 years old he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for being a “fierce fighter and a man of peace.”

Top 3 Takeaways:

  1. Muhammad worked really hard to become a boxing champion.
  2. Muhammad stood up for what he believed in.
  3. Muhammad used his celebrity status and success to help others in need.

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