Muhammad Ali, “The Greatest” boxer and civil rights champion has passed on at 74. Ali died while being hospitalized at a Phoenix hospital over respiratory complications. He had been battling Parkinson’s disease for the past 32 years.
Born Cassius Clay in January 17, 1942 in Kentucky, Ali started boxing at 12. In 1960, he participated in the Olympics in Rome where as a light heavy weight he won a gold medal. Soon after he turned to professional boxing.
At the age of 22, Cassius Clay renounced his “slave name” and was bestowed the name Muhammad Ali by Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam founder. At the height of the Vietnam War, Ali would be drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. He declined saying that his conscience wouldn’t allow him.