Muhammad Ali

Born in Louisville in 1942 as Cassius Clay, the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion is still regarded as one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports. In fact, his bigger-than-life professional persona was exemplified by his boasts to be “The Greatest” and his claim to be able to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” in the ring. But, since his retirement from boxing, he has become even better known for his humanitarian and philanthropic efforts with the United Nations, Special Olympics and the Make a Wish Foundation. Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and the President’s Award from the NAACP in 2009. He has been described as the “most recognizable man on earth” and Sports Illustrated crowned him “Sportsman of the Century.” The Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville was completed in 2006 as a monument to his legacy. For more information about Ali, click here.

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