1942 — Born Cassius Clay on January 17, in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

1954 — Begins training as a boxer after his bicycle is stolen. Over next six years, Clay wins six Kentucky Golden Gloves championships, two national Golden Gloves titles, and two AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) crowns.

 

1960 — Clay wins light-heavyweight gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Rome, beating Poland’s Zbigniew Pietrzykowski in a 5-0 decision. In October, he wins his first professional bout, against Tunney Hunsaker.

 

1964 — On February 25, Clay goes up against favored Sonny Liston. In what will become his trademark, Clay begins taunting Liston, calling him an “ugly old bear,” promising to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Clay is credited with a knockout and becomes the heavyweight champion of the world after Liston fails to come out of his corner for the seventh round. Clay coins the phrase “I am the greatest!” — a phrase for which he will forever be known.

 

On February 26, Clay joins Nation of Islam, and on March 6, he changes his name to Muhammad Ali.

 

1966 — Citing his religious beliefs, Ali files for conscientious objector status and refuses to serve in U.S. military, which is involved in the Vietnam War at the time.

 

1967 — The U.S. government denies his status. Ali is convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to a maximum five years in prison and fined $10,000. The New York boxing association takes back his titles and bans him from boxing for three years.

FILE – Laila Ali, left, poses with her father, boxing great Muhammad Ali, after her win against Erin Toughill at the MCI Center in Washington, June 11, 2005.

 

FILE – Laila Ali, left, poses with her father, boxing great Muhammad Ali, after her win against Erin Toughill at the MCI Center in Washington, June 11, 2005.

 

1970 — The New York State Supreme Court orders his boxing license reinstated.

 

1971 — In March, Ali fights heavyweight champ Joe Frazier in Madison Square Garden, but loses after 15 rounds, in a unanimous decision.

 

Later that year, Supreme Court rules in his favor, reversing the 1967 draft-evasion conviction, saying he should not have been drafted in the first place due to his religious beliefs.

 

1974 — In January, Ali beats Frazier. Later that year, he beats George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle,” and reclaims world heavyweight champion title.

 

1975 — Ali again faces Frazier, beats him in fight known as “The Thrilla in Manila.”

Direct link

 

1978 — In Februrary, Ali loses heavyweight title to Leon Spinks; regains it six months later by beating Spinks.

 

1981 — Ali loses a unanimous decision to Trevor Berbick. In December, he announces his retirement — at age 39 — ending his career with a professional record of 56 wins, 5 losses, 37 knockouts.

 

1984 — He is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

 

1996 — Ali carries the Olympic flame for Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

1997 — Sports Illustrated names Ali Sportsman of the Century.

 

2005 — Ali is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian honor, by then-President George W. Bush.

 

2009 — Ali attends the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

 

2016 — Dies June 3 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was married four times and had nine children.

 

Source: Voice Of America