Tag Archives: Muhammad Ali

The Greatest left us better


I grew up watching the televised fights of Muhammad Ali. I appreciated his boxing skills and his showmanship.

Only later did I learn more about and appreciate even more the man. 

I always knew of the controversy that took his title away, but only as I became more mature did I appreciate how courageous his anti-war stance was at the time he took it. 

And only as I followed his post-boxing career could I appreciate how he reached out to the world, seeking to bridge chasms and bring people together.

Ali was only a man and had flaws. But he rose above them like few of us do. 

He ennobled us by his life and good works.

And made us all better.

iPhoneography: The Muhammad Ali Center

ali center painting

There are so, so many reasons to honor Muhammad Ali.

Here’s a man who, as a child, pulled himself up out of the rough streets of Louisville, became an athlete, then became an Olympic athlete, became a professional athlete at a time of desegregation and prejudice against African-Americans, became a living symbol of how the government can try to crush people whose beliefs are considered unacceptable by some officials, fought his way back to the top of his profession and, even while facing a crippling illness, continued to live his life as an example to others.

Ali is a true hero.

The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, is a really very good repository and collection of the many highlights of his life. Medals and personal mementoes abound and – most compelling to me, in a way – film of some of his fights plays non-stop on monitors in the building.

The Ali center has a lot of weight but isn’t boring. The color and drama of Ali’s life is recreated.

Above is my iPhone snapshot of one of artist LeRoy Neiman’s paintings of Ali, of course. The original is on display in the center.

ali center tiles

Inside the center, besides the display of Ali artifacts, are demonstrations of Ali’s reach on young people, including these tiles painted by children.

ali center outside

And outside the beautiful building is a sunny plaza overseen by images of The Greatest himself.

The Ali Center is worth a visit.