Then known as Cassius Clay, he competed in the 1960 Olympics and came home with a Gold Medal. However, I first remember paying him attention during his second fight with Sonny Liston. I lived in Chicago then, and there were stories about people who went to the theater to watch the fight live. It was an extra-long line waiting outside, and people were still waiting to buy tickets when the fight started.
People on the street started selling tickets to those in line so they could get inside. What the people outside did not know was that the people selling tickets had already seen the fight. Ali knocked Liston out in the first round.
The second time that I paid careful attention to Ali was when I was taken to a restaurant on the South Side of Chicago. Turned out it was owned and operated by Muslims. I enjoyed the food, and was given more of a surprise when Ali walked into the restaurant. I was so nervous meeting the Champ that my hands were shaking. Read the rest of this entry