Mohammed Ali : Must Know Facts of 'The Greatest'
Shortly afterwards, Clay joined the 'Nation of Islam' and changed his name. Muhammad Ali reigned as the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion for quite some time. Ali remains the only three-time lineal world heavyweight champion having won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978.
In 1967, Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title.
He did not fight again in the ring for nearly four years - at his peak. But his fight in the courts worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and his conviction was overturned in 1971. His opposition to the Vietnam War later turned out to be a touchstone for conscientious objectors.
Ali has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated on 37 different occasions, second only to Michael Jordan.
Ali has claimed that shortly after his win and return from the 1960 Rome Olympics he threw his gold medal into the Ohio River. This was after he and a friend were refused service at a "whites-only" restaurant and fought with a white gang.
His autobiography 'The Greatest: My Own Story' was published in 1975 and was adapted into a film in which Ali played himself.
For his contributions to the entertainment industry, Ali was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. Out of deference to his request that his name not be walked upon, his star is mounted on a vertical surface, the only one so. A fitting tribute to a person who always refused to stay down.