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Interesting & Fun Muhammad Ali Facts For Kids 2022 [Must Read]

Muhammad Ali is considered one of the most legendary figures in sports. He was an American heavyweight boxer who won 56 matches and became the first name in history to win the world heavyweight championship thrice. He also lived an exciting life promoting human welfare by constantly making efforts to make society a better place with visits to countries like North Korea. 

  • Date of Birth: January 17, 1942
  • Date of Death: June 3, 2016
Muhammad Ali Facts For Kids

Early Life Facts

He was born on January 17, 1942, not as Muhammad Ali but as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. His original name was after a white abolitionist. Cassius Clay, the man he was named after, wrote and published for anti-slavery while relieving every enslaved person his household had. 

Muhammad Ali Early Life Facts

Cassius Marcellus Clay later would go to work for the abolition of slavery under President Abraham Lincoln. Muhammad Ali, though, changed his name later in life and firmly held the ideas of anti-slavery and other humane visions. 

An Inspiration For All

Muhammad Ali was undoubtedly the best boxer of his time and continues to inspire many people. He lived a life full of passion and determination. Moreover, he tried to improve the racial issue and promoted anti-slavery with his visits and talks. 

Muhammad Ali was not only known for his extraordinary boxing skills but also for writing, spoken verse, poetry, acting, and activism throughout his years. He converted to Islam and continued on the track of religious beliefs, which caused trouble during the Vietnam War. However, his determined self is still greatly appreciated and serves as a motivation for the youth. 

Muhammad Ali on Championship Stage

Although the legend lived a glamorous life in the years of his career, he was later diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome, which affected his physique. His primary focus grew towards religion and other activities promoting humanity. His care for his family and the welfare of society remained until he died from the condition on June 3, 2016.

Fun Muhammad Ali facts for kids

Muhammad Ali had dyslexia.

Not many know of this, but this great sports icon of the 20th century was dyslexic. Although it never affected his career, and he even went to publish his books, he is said to have suffered from dyslexia silently. In an incident, he was relocated to a lower standard because of his subpar writing abilities. He later recalled this saying, “I said I was the greatest, not the smartest!” Did you guess this one? I believe not since his books had a great craze. 

Muhammad Ali threw his Olympic gold medal out of frustration.

During the times Ali was renowned and excelling in his career, racism rose. When an 18-year-old Ali won the light heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics, he faced a lot of racism. No one would agree to serve him only because of his color at a Kentucky diner. Soon, he was frustrated from all these events and threw his medal on the Ohio River. Later, he received a replacement for the gold medal.

Muhammad Ali During Boxing match

Muhammad Ali was a real-life superhero.

Although in 1978, DC Comics released a comic featuring a character based on Muhammad Ali, that saved the world by defeating Superman, Ali managed to save lives in the real world. In 1981, a man was to jump off a building’s 9th floor in Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile area. A friend of Muhammad Ali informed him as soon as he noticed this. Ali lived in the nearby area and rushed to save the man. Just like in the comics ‘Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali’ successfully saved the man’s life. 

Muhammad Ali refused US Armed Forces to serve during Vietnam War.

In the early 1960s, Muhammad Ali converted to Islam and changed his name. He denied serving in the Vietnam War in April 1967 because of Islamic religious beliefs. He was even arrested following his refusal, and his boxing license was banned. 

His heavyweight title, too, was taken away. He was prohibited from fighting and remained free on appeal. In a turn of events, his conviction was finerturned in 1971. Many people in the initial years, but his anti-war ideas were celebrated in the future.  

Muhammad Ali was an Irish descendant.

The great-grandfather of Muhammad Ali, Abe Grady, was from Ireland. In the 1860s, he settled in Kentucky, fell in love with a formerly enslaved person, and eventually started a family with her. Their daughter, Odessa Lee Grady Clay, gave birth to Muhammad Ali. Ali was keenly interested in his Irish lineage and their clan, O’Grady. He would visit Ireland and try to learn more about his ancestral family. This wasn’t a very well-known fact in his days. 

Muhammad Ali Boxing Practice

Muhammad Ali had a spoken verse album.

Spoken verse albums generally have readings, speeches, and dialogues instead of music and songs. Muhammad Ali was already famous for his poetic skills. Columbia Records joined in to release a spoken word album with the title ‘I Am the Greatest. A band played while Ali delivered his performance. Grammy nominations were immensely popular.

Ali had a stage career.

During his ban following the Vietnam War controversy, Muhammad Ali starred in a Broadway performance. This musical show was titled ‘Buch White’ and had Ali in the role of a black militant lecturer. Although the overall stage career for the boxer was short-lived, his fame grew even more with it. Critics well received Ali’s performance in the musical. With this new venture, he opened new ways to showcase his versatility. 

Ali decided to box at the age of 12.

The determined boxer was already on his path by his preteen years. He wanted to box at the age of 12 because of a person that stole his bike. He tried to beat that person up for it and hence, thought boxing was a good option to learn to do that. He was, of course, unbeknownst to the total of 61 matches he would play with 51 wins and 37 knockouts. He is called ‘Greatest of All Time’ for his legacy inside and outside the ring. 

Ali’s gloves made more fortune than his fight with Liston.

Muhammad Ali Boxing Gloves

Many people could not let go of the iconic fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, which lifted Ali to greater heights. However, his gloves during the match became more famous and valuable. Ali’s victory rewarded him 630,000 USD, but five decades later, the gloves’ price went as high as 836,000 USD. Although his career has produced many memorable moments over the years, the glove sales for this particular match were surprising for many people. 

Ali’s draft evasion reached the US Supreme Court.

As he refused to go and serve in the Vietnam War while he was conscripted for the same, he was arrested. Muhammad Ali was found guilty of objecting and refusing to serve, but he remained free. The case of his draft evasion reached the US Supreme Court in 1971 and overturned his conviction. This issue made Ali a global icon, and people appreciated his courage and efforts toward anti-war sentiments. 

Also Read: Mae Jemison Facts

Many feathers in his cap

Muhammad Ali was undoubtedly the greatest boxer, but have you heard of his other achievements? He was a spoken word artist and released two albums. ‘I Am The Greatest’ was released in 1963, while the second album, ‘The Adventures of Ali and His Gang vs. Mr Tooth Decay, was released in 1976. These both received Grammy nominations. Apart from this, he also wrote two autobiographies, debuting as a writer. He starred in the Broadway show ‘Buck White’ too, making extra efforts towards acting.

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