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Happy Birthday Muhammad Ali!

Happy Birthday Muhammad Ali!

Today marks famed boxer Muhammad Ali’s birthday. Here’s some facts about this illustrious athlete’s life.

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.) was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942.   Best known for his career as a professional boxer, Ali was the first fighter to win the world heavyweight championship on three separate occasions, successfully defending his title 19 times.

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Ali is also remembered for his important role in the United States Civil Rights Movement and his social activism contributions. While Ali passed away on June 3, 2016, his life and legacy continue to live on. In honor of his birthday, here’s some fascinating facts about Muhammad Ali.

  • Ali was born in the American South when segregation was still legal. His father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr, worked painting billboards and signs and his mother, Odessa Grady Clay, worked as a household domestic.
  • Ali first began boxing at the age of twelve under the training of Louisville police officer Joe Martin.
  • Ali won a gold medal for boxing in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and shortly thereafter began his professional boxing career.
  • On March 6, 1964, Ali publicly announced that he had accepted the teachings of the Nation of Islam and he officially took the name Muhammad Ali which was given to him by his spiritual mentor, Elijah Muhammad.
  • On April 28, 1967, Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, stating his religious beliefs. While exemption from military service on religious grounds was permitted at the time, Ali was not eligible for such an exemption because he had acknowledged his willingness to participate in an Islamic holy war.
  • Ali was criminally indicted, and on June 20, 1967, he was sentenced to five years in prison for refusing induction into the U.S. armed forces. Ali remained free on bail, and four years later his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Ali was stripped of his championship and precluded from fighting by every state athletic commission in the United States for three and a half years
  • Ali’s final boxing record stands at 56 wins to 5 losses with 37 knockouts.
  • In 1996, Ali was chosen to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Ali was a member of the inaugural class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
  • In 2005, Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

We at The Maria Sanchez Show hope you will join us as we remember Muhammad Ali in honor of his birthday.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown.  Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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