Today, thousands were lined to attend the public memorial, farewell ceremony of the boxing legend Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was born on January 17, 1942.
Ali began his journey towards greatness at the 1960 Rome Olympics, shortly after high school at the young age of 18. When Ali refused to enter the Vietnam War draft, he was stripped of his championship titles, passport, and boxing license, causing him to face a 5-year prison term, with a conviction of draft evasion. This ultimately led Ali to becoming the first national figure to speak out against the war in Vietnam, causing him to earn a living speaking at colleges during his 3 1/2 year layoff. After fighting valiantly in court, the Supreme Court reversed his conviction and upheld to his claims, allowing him to continue boxing anywhere in the world.
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, 3-time Heavyweight World Champion publicly announced his diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease, a generative neurological condition, in 1984, which later in life lead to respiratory complications, causing his death at 74 years old, on June 3, 2016. Ali has left his 9 children to carry on his legacy. Losing one of the most childhood, memorable athletes of all time is quite a tough pill to swallow.