September 5

September 5, 1960 – Muhammed Ali (then Cassius Clay) Wins Gold Medal

Boxing light-heavyweight 1960 Olympics

Cassius Clay (now Muhammed Ali) at the 1960 Olympics Boxing light-heavyweight podium.

Considered by many to be the world’s most famous sports personality and boxer of all time (Muhammad Ali) born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. received the gold medal on September 5, 1960 at the Summer Olympic Games in Rome, Italy for winning the Light Heavyweight boxing competition.  The rest is history, Clay who changed his name to Muhammed Ali went on to become perhaps the greatest boxing champion the world has ever known.

Muhammad Ali NYWTS

Muhammad Ali

When television captivated the sport in almost every American home, Ali became not only a sports hero, but a role model who demonstrated confidence and strength to many young and old African Americans during the pivotal era of civil rights.  He went on to professionally win three lineal World Heavyweight Boxing Championships (the most of any boxer).

Muhammad Ali 1966

Muhammad Ali 1966

Ali had his title taken from him on April 28, 1967 for refusing to be inducted into the military.  He declined because of his religious beliefs.  He appealed his 1967 conviction of draft evasion with the United States Supreme Court in Clay v. United States.   Ali had applied for a conscientious objector classification to not enter the military; this application was denied.  On June 28, 1971 the Supreme Court reversed the earlier conviction in favor of Muhammad Ali. He was born January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky and died on June 3, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona at age 74.

Muhammad Ali and President Bush

As Mrs. Lonnie Ali looks on, President George W. Bush embraces three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world Muhammad Ali after presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005, during ceremonies at the White House.