#BlackHistoryMonth: Muhammad Ali

By David DeLuca, Spartan Editor

Welcome to #BlackHistoryMonth, a month dedicated to the manifold achievements of Black Americans. This week, we’re talking about boxing legend and activist Muhammad Ali. (Photo credit: The Source.)

The Making of Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay in Louisville, KY. He started boxing at age 12, and by age 18 he had won gold in the Olympics at Rome. He turned pro immediately after that and went on to win the WBC and WBA lineal heavyweight titles. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam.

Boxing Success

Ali is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished heavyweight boxers in history. He was the only person to ever win the lineal heavyweight title three times (1964, 1974, and 1978). Aside from these victories, he also won numerous awards, including six Fighter of the Year awards in The Ring magazine and Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century by Sports Illustrated.

Embodying the Spartan Code

During the Vietnam War, Muhammad displayed an unwavering commitment to his personal values. An opponent of the war, Muhammad refused to be conscripted into the armed forces. As a result, he was arrested and stripped of his boxing titles. A true Spartan, he stood up for what he believed in, no matter the cost.