Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942, into an African American family of Kentucky, Ali took to boxing at 12 years of age, almost by accident. But he showed his talent early and turned a professional right after winning a gold medal in the light heavyweight category of the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. During a professional career of just over two decades, Ali won the world heavyweight title three times and enjoyed an overall 56 to 5 win/loss record.
Outside the ring, Ali gained worldwide popularity for his anti-war and anti-racial stance while becoming a household name across the Muslim world for embracing Islam.
At 73 years of age and incapacitated by Parkinson's disease, Ali currently lives in Arizona. He was admitted to hospital quite a few times over the last couple of years with various ailments.
- "Allah is the Greatest. I'm just the greatest boxer."
- "Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, the hands can't hit what the eyes can't see."
- "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong -- no Viet Cong ever called me Nigger."