Muhammad Ali born Cassius Marcellus Clay
Muhammad Ali ( born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. Nicknamed "The Greatest", he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics, and turned professional later that year. He converted to Islam and became a Muslim after 1961, and eventually took the name Muhammad Ali. He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset at age 22 in 1964. In 1966, Ali refused to be inducted into the military for the Vietnam War for religious, social and ethical principles. He was then indicted and convicted of draft evasion, faced five years in prison, and was stripped of his boxing titles. He appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971; however, Ali had not fought for nearly four years, had lost a period of peak performance as an athlete, and his skills had noticeably eroded during his time in exile.