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Muhammad Ali


1942 Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, January 17, in Louisville, Kentucky
1954 Begins boxing
1960 Wins gold medal, Rome Olympics, light-heavyweight boxing
1960 First professional boxing match, defeats Tunney Hunsacker, October 29
1963 Converts to Islam, inspired by Malcolm X
1964 Takes World Heavyweight Championship from Sonny Liston
1964 Announces name change, to Muhammad Ali
1964 Marries Sonji Roi
1966 Divorces Sonji
1966 Refuses to go to Vietnam
1967 Stripped of boxing license and heavyweight title by New York State Athletic Commission and World Boxing Association, May
1967 Convicted of draft-dodging, sentenced to five years in prison (but released on appeal)
1967 Marries Belinda Boyd
1970 Conviction overturned
1970 Returns to the ring, against Jerry Quarry, November
1971 Loses to Joe Frazier in title match, February
1974 Beats Joe Frazier in rematch, becomes World Heavyweight Champion again
1974 Defeats George Foreman in "Rumble in the Jungle" to become World Heavyweight Champion again
1975 Defeats Joe Frazier again in "Thrilla in Manilla," often considered the greatest boxing match ever
1976 Divorces Belinda
1977 Marries Veronica Proche
1978 Loses title to Leon Spinks
1978 Reclaims title from Leon Spinks in rematch
1979 Retires from professional boxing
1980 Returns to professional boxing, loses to Larry Holmes in WBC title match
1981 In last professional boxing match, loses to Trevor Berbick
1982 Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease
1985 Visits Lebanon in attempt to secure release of hostages, February
1985 Founds World Organization for Right, Liberty and Dignity (WORLD)
1985 Divorces Veronica
1986 Marries Yolanda "Lonnie" Williams
1990 Visits Iraq in successful attempt to secure release of American hostages
1996 Chosen to light Olympic Torch in Atlanta
2000 Wins WBA title from John Ruiz
2001 Establishes Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville, Kentucky

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Famous Sports StarsBoxingMuhammad Ali Biography - A Stolen Bicycle, The Louisville Lip, A Controversial Champ, In And Out Of The Wilderness - SELECTED WRITINGS BY ALI: