Muhammad Ali is a social activist, philanthropist and legendary American boxer, considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. He is a Golden Gloves winner and an Olympic gold medal winner. In 1984 Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and as of 2015, he continues to raises funds for research.
Ali fought Joe Frazier in what became known as the fight of the century in 1971. Frazier won the bout, but Ali beat him in a rematch in 1974. That same year Ali became the heavyweight champion of the world when he beat George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire. In 1975 Ali beat Frazier again in the Thrilla in Manila in the Philippines. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 after losing his heavyweight title to Trevor Berbick.
After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Ali opened the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1998 he became a United Nations messenger of peace and traveled to developing countries helping those in need. Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the President’s Award from the NAACP for his public service. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named Ali sportsman of the century.
Ali was named Cassius Clay when he was born in Kentucky in 1942. He changed his name in 1964 when he converted to Islam.