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What contributions did Muhammad Ali make?

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Quick Answer

After retiring from boxing, legendary fighter Muhammad Ali committed himself to several philanthropic endeavors, including advocating for Parkinson's disease, Special Olympics and the Make a Wish Foundation. Ali soared to fame in the 1960s as the first American boxer to earn three heavyweight titles.

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Full Answer

Today, Ali is widely known for his charitable contributions and philanthropy. He himself suffers from Parkinson's disease, a degenerative neurological condition, which he announced in 1984 after a 21-year boxing career. In addition to his work supporting and advocating for those struggling with significant health issues, Ali was also named as the United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998 for his philanthropy overseas in developing nations.

Ali was also very public with his faith after joining the Nation of Islam, a black Muslim group, and changing his name in 1964. He was later drafted to the Vietnam War, which he rejected on the basis of his faith. Over the course of his career, he won two Golden Gloves tournaments, an Olympic gold medal and three heavyweight titles. However, after rejecting his draft, he was stripped of his heavyweight titles and was banned from boxing for three years. Throughout the 1970s, his career was more or less tumultuous, as he was losing more frequently to competitors. In 1981, after losing his heavyweight title to Trevor Berbick, Ali announced his retirement.

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