Float Like a Butterfly: Muhammad Ali’s Life in Photos

clay bannerMuhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, regarded as the greatest heavyweight boxer in history, left quite a legacy of inspiration and controversy when he passed away June 3, at the age of 74. In and out of the ring, Ali was celebrated as an amazing athlete and role model to many. Here is a snapshot of his life in pictures – just a brief look at the impact he’s had on the lives of others and all he’s accomplished.

Source: www.ksdk.com

Source: www.ksdk.com

Still known to the world as Cassius Clay, Ali gets direction from his trainer Angelo Dundee.

Source: www.cnn.com

Source: www.cnn.com

Ali is seen here, trying to live up to his billing as “The Greatest” at City Parks Gym in 1962.

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Muhammad Ali, native Kentuckian, poses to show off his fighter physique in 1962.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

Then, only 20 years old, he had no way of knowing his net worth at the end of his life, would be $50 million.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

An overzealous, young Ali shares his future predictions before a fight against Archie Moore.

Source: latimes.com

Source: latimes.com

His first prediction becomes 100% correct. His second becomes accurate in just 7 rounds, not 8.

Source: www.g-1.com

Source: www.g-1.com

Another prediction shows an acutely confident Clay naming the round in which he defeats Henry Cooper.

Source: www.thestar.com

Source: www.thestar.com

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

Odessa Grady Clay, Muhammad Ali’s mother, was a household domestic.

Source: www.findagrave.com

Source: www.findagrave.com

Here they are together in April of 1963. Odessa raised Ali Baptist in a time of segregation, which always bothered Ali.

Source: abc7.com

Source: abc7.com

Here, Ali seems to be deep in thought in March of 1964.

Source: http://geektyrant.com/

Source: http://geektyrant.com/

Possibly dreaming up one of his famous, inspirational quotes. Possibly, “The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

Source: www.mirror.co.uk

Source: www.mirror.co.uk

It was not enough to live it.

Source: www.mirror.co.uk

Source: www.mirror.co.uk

Ali reviews his greatness in the newspaper after a huge victory.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Ali poses with the legendary Beatles as they pretend to get knocked out by his greatness.

Source: newpittsburghcourieronline.com

Source: newpittsburghcourieronline.com

The Beatles visited him at his training camp in Florida.

Source: home.bt.com

Source: home.bt.com

Caught on camera, Cassius Clay loses his cool and rejoices as he becomes the new heavyweight champion of the world.

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

He knocked out Sonny Liston to attain this new title in 1964. Soon after this, he would be known as Muhammad Ali.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Source: www.nytimes.com

Muhammad Ali was inspired by, and is seen here with Malcolm X in 1964.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Source: www.nytimes.com

Because of Malcolm X, Ali secretly converted to Islam. Once he became the new champ, he renounced his “slave name” Cassius Clay and became known by his chosen Muslim name, Muhammad Ali.

Source: www.yahoo.com

Source: www.yahoo.com

After a miraculous one-minute fight, the heavyweight champ is caught in that moment in time after Sonny Liston goes down.

Source: www.slate.com

Source: www.slate.com

The sharp right shot to the jaw knocked the challenger out.

Source: howafrica.com

Source: howafrica.com

Surrounded by children at a school in London, Muhammad Ali signs autographs.

Source: www.gettyimages.com

Source: www.gettyimages.com

He made the stop in 1966 before a big match in town.

Source: blog.apimages.com

Source: blog.apimages.com

Ali sits and ponders the refusal of his draft deferment.

Source: blog.apimages.com

Source: blog.apimages.com

 

Muhammad Ali tried to defer, saying he was a Muslim minister, and would not comment on the outcome in 1967.

Source: www.oregonlive.com

Source: www.oregonlive.com

Ali is shown being escorted from the Armed Forces Examining and Entrance Station in Houston by Lt. Col. J. Edwin McKee.

Source: learningenglish.voanews.com

Source: learningenglish.voanews.com

He had refused induction due to the poor treatment of all others of his race in this country, citing he was a conscientious objector.

Source: currentpk.wordpress.com

Source: currentpk.wordpress.com

Zora Folley is shown down on the mat during a fight in Madison Square Garden in 1967.

Source: www.boxing.com

Source: www.boxing.com

This was a heavyweight title fight. Fight aside, Ali was stripped of his boxing license and title due to his draft refusal.

Source: www.the-journal.com

Source: www.the-journal.com

This photo captures The Black Panther Party and Muhammad Ali walking the streets of New York in 1970.

Source: www.the-journal.com

Source: www.the-journal.com

His Black Panther affiliation, draft refusal, and overturned conviction made Ali the face of resistance and a hero to many.

Source: ftw.usatoday.com

Source: ftw.usatoday.com

Old champ haunts the outside of the new champ’s gym in 1971.

Source: www.fintofile.com

Source: www.fintofile.com

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Source: AFP/Getty Images

Source: AFP/Getty Images

Ali struggles to get up after being knocked down by Joe Frazier in 1971.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

Frazier wins by decision, becoming the champ.

Source: www.latimes.com

Source: www.latimes.com

With no shortage of humor, Ali, messes with commentator Howard Cosell’s hair before reporting on the 1972 Olympic boxing trials.

Source: neilleifer.com

Source: neilleifer.com

Source: blog.sfgate.com

Source: blog.sfgate.com

Frazier goes low as Ali winds up.

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

This time, Ali wins with a unanimous decision, defeating Frazier.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

Even more exhausting than being the champ, is parenting.

Source: www.usatoday.com

Source: www.usatoday.com

Daughters Laila and Hana contemplate their next move as Ali recovers from chasing them.

Source: www.ricfeld.com

Source: www.ricfeld.com

Muhammad Ali honors Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. at the very first celebration of the holiday.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

Here, he has a moment with King’s widow, Coretta Scott King in 1986.

Source: www.teamusa.org

Source: www.teamusa.org

The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta invited Ali to light the Olympic torch during opening ceremonies.

Source: www.dailyherald.com

Source: www.dailyherald.com

Janet Evans, swimmer, is also shown.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

The Red Carpet at the ESPY Awards captures all… Boxers Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali pose together in 2002.

Source: www.thewhirlingwind.com

Source: www.thewhirlingwind.com

Their three battles are carved in boxing history forever. As you can see, they both have a sense of humor and mutual respect for each other.

Source: www.dawn.com

Source: www.dawn.com

Laila Ali gets a kiss from dad.

Source: www.voanews.com

Source: www.voanews.com

Although female, she chose to follow in his immortal footsteps.

Source: www.ibtimes.com

Source: www.ibtimes.com

In 2002, Muhammad Ali traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan for a three-day goodwill mission as the “U.N. Messenger of Peace”.

Source: www.pbs.org

Source: www.pbs.org

Here, President George W. Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Ali in 2005.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

Young and old Muhammad Ali are portrayed on stage during a charity event in Kentucky.

Source: tomeblen.bloginky.com

Source: tomeblen.bloginky.com

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

An endearing close up of the late Muhammad Ali before a college football game in 2009.

Source: gettyimages.ca

Source: gettyimages.ca

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Source: cbs4indy.com

Source: cbs4indy.com

Ali is pictured with wife Lonnie at the “Power of Love Gala” which celebrated his 70th birthday.

Source: fox59.com

Source: fox59.com

Though it celebrates the champ’s birthday, it raises money for charity as well.

Source: newyork.cbslocal.com

Source: newyork.cbslocal.com

The Celebrity Fight Night awards honor celebrities who live up to Ali’s character and personal qualities, and his efforts to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

 

Pictured is Muhammad Ali at the award ceremony in 2013 with his wife and assistant.

Source: www.azcentral.com

Source: www.azcentral.com

Photo of Muhammad Ali just two months ago at his last Celebrity Fight Night in Arizona.

Source: nbcnews.com

Source: nbcnews.com

This photographer had no way of knowing he was capturing Ali’s last attendance at this honorable event.

CHECK OUT MORE GREAT POSTS

Tags Sports