Muhammad Ali, the boxing legend, passed away the night of June 3, 2016 at the age of 74. The three-time heavyweight champion was quietly battling Parkinson’s disease, a disease that left him mute for the last quarter century of his life.
Born Cassius Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, in Louisville, Ky., Ali learned to box after his bicycle was stolen when he was 12 years old and a police officer encouraged him to take up boxing.
At the age of 22, the famous boxer converted to Islam, changing his name to Muhammad Ali, saying Islam was a religion of peace and that he had no desire to engage in combat with those who'd done him or his family no harm.
Not only was he known as “The Greatest” in boxing, but he was also known for his outspoken remarks regarding politics. He stood up for civil rights and would refuse to fight in establishments that were segregated and even threw his Olympic gold medal into a river after being denied service at a soda fountain counter.
The boxing sensation will be remembered for his legendary matches, outspoken remarks on politics and racism, and mantra, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Rest in peace, champ.