Who Is Muhammad Ali? by James Buckley Jr.Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. won the world heavyweight championship at the age of 22, the same year he joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. He would go on to become the first--and only--three-time (in succession) World Heavyweight Champion.
Nicknamed “The Greatest,” Ali was as well known for his unique boxing style, consisting of the Ali Shuffle and the rope-a-dope, as he was for the catchphrase “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
He was an uncompromising athlete who brought beauty and grace to a very rough sport and became one of the world’s most famous cultural icons. Read Who Is Muhammad Ali? and discover “The Greatest.”
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Books Approaching Ali by Davis Miller. It had been over two decades since he'd first glimpsed The Champ on a black-and-white television--when Miller was an eleven-year-old boy, shattered by the unexpected loss of his mother--and he felt the time had come for him to personally thank the man whose fearlessness, grace, and tenacity gave him the power to overcome a near-paralyzing depression. When the door finally opened, Miller would not only get to meet his "spiritual constant" but also begin a surprising and tender new friendship that would forever transform his life. Today, more than twenty-five years later, the two still share an uncommon bond, the sort that can be fashioned only in serendipitous ways and fortified through shared experiences. Miller now draws from those remarkable moments to give us a quietly startling portrait of a great man physically ravaged but spiritually young. Beginning with a series of three interconnected anecdotes about Miller's first meeting with the champ--which formed the basis of "My Dinner with Ali," a legendary piece of sports journalism that was anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing of the Century--Approaching Ali continues as a historic tribute, composed of linked vignettes spread out over decades, that is unlike anything else that has been written about one of the world's most famous and loved men. As readers will discover in these pages, Miller is the Everyman, Ali the Superman in physical decline.
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Judging by the frequency and reverence with which he spoke of them, my father had two heroes—his grandfather and Muhammad Ali. I learned about both men through his telling, though with Ali, the tell included an embarrassing dose of show, with the old man backpedalling, circling around me, tossing cumbersome jabs in the direction of nothing in particular. But it was a favorite gag, proof of his affection. Writing about my father is, in its own way, a tribute to Ali. Boxing was already the richest literary sport before Cassius Clay arrived; the anecdotes of trainers and fighters from the post-war era alone are hard to beat.
Muhammad Ali was much more than boxing. If you are looking to read up about the self-professed The Greatest, these seven books are recommended. No sportsperson has perhaps inspired as much prose as Muhammad Ali. And interestingly, a lot of it came from writers who generally would give sport a miss. This was because Ali was so much more than boxing—the man wrote poetry, spoke with Malcolm X, took part in anti-war demonstrations, refused to join the US Army in Vietnam, converted to Islam, went to Iraq to come away with hostages in the early s