Muhammad Ali is one of the most important athletes and cultural figures in American history. Though he passed away in 2016, the heavyweight boxing champ was bigger than life in the outside of the ring. Here are five more facts about Muhammad Ali, aka The Greatest.
1. Cassius Clay is named after a white abolitionist.
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. and named after his father, who had been named as a white abolitionist. Slavery newspaper, but also served as minister to Russia under President Abraham Lincoln.
2. Muhammad Ali's draft evasion case went to the Supreme Court.
In the early He was arrested and stripped of his boxing in the 1
3. He received a gold medal replacement.
At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Ali won the gold medal for boxing in the light heavyweight division. But, as he wrote in his 1975 autobiography, The Greatest: My Own Story (edited by Toni Morrison!), He supposedly threw his way into the Ohio River in frustration over the racism he experienced in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Some historians dispute this story and suggest that Ali just lost the medal. Either way, he was given a replacement when he lit the Olympic cauldron at the Opening ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
4. Muhammad Ali was an actual superhero.
In 1978, DC Comics published Superman vs.. Muhammad Ali -an oversize comic in which Muhammad Ali defeats Superman and saves the world. In real life, Ali did not save a man from suicide. In 1981, a man was threatened to jump from the ninth story of a building in L.A.'s Miracle Mile neighborhood. Ali's friend Howard Bingham witnessed the unfolding drama and called the boxer, who lived nearby. Ali rushed into the building and successfully talked to the man down from the ledge.
5. Muhammad Ali starred in a Broadway show.
In Oscar Brown's Jr.'s 1969 musical adaptation of Joseph Dolan Tuotti's play Big Time Buck White Ali played a militant black intellectual who speaks at a political meeting , The play ran for only five nights at the George Abbot Theater in New York. His Playbill bio reported that Ali "is now appealing his five-year prison conviction and $ 10,000 fine for refusing to perform the services on a religious grounds." Big Time Buck White role that he in real life. "