Muhammad Ali

“Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee.” – Muhammad Ali

Old newspapers are a great way to learn about the life of famous athletes. Reading the articles and seeing the pictures of the time period allows us to lose ourselves within the context of their life.

Born Cassius Clay, Jr, one of the greatest professional boxers of all time, was Muhammad Ali. Historic newspapers track the entire career of Ali with articles and images and even his personal life.

Cassius Clay
In February 1964, Clay’s fight against Sonny Liston made news. The result was Clay winning the title of heavyweight champion of the world. The Tribune Sports section of a Terre Haute, Indiana newspaper splashed multiple articles about the event, including one written by the new champ himself on their sports page. 

The Courier-Times out of Bristol, Pennsylvania, also published multiple stories and photos with titles like “Cassius: I’m King to Stay; I’m Beautiful; I’m the Best,” “Sure I Want to Fight Him Again,” and “If Not the Best, Clay is the Loudest.” Readers are sure to get a broad perspective of the heavyweight title fight. 

Cassius Clay and his new bride graced the front page of the Baltimore Afro-American on August 18, 1964. The heavyweight champ used the name Muhammad Ali on his marriage license to model Sonji Roi.

Clay retained his heavyweight title in “Cassius Clay Smashes ‘Big Cat,’” when he dropped Cleveland Williams to the floor at the Astrodome in front of a crowd of 40,000.

Muhammad Ali
Relive the “Rumble in the Jungle” when Muhammad Ali reclaimed his heavyweight title from George Foreman in “Ali Comes Home” in a special match held in Africa.

Newspapers around the country joined in to celebrate Ali’s 50th birthday in 1992. Many took the opportunity to showcase his career. The Sunday Review dedicated almost an entire page to the boxer with an infographic depicting the highlights in chronological order. The Daily Herald published articles, highlights, and pictures of the epic fighter in a similar spread.

Muhammad Ali passed away in 2016. The Chronicle-Telegram published several images and articles, including quotes from many notable athletes, celebrities, and politicians. “Going Home to Louisville” provided details about Ali’s funeral and the memorial service afterward for the public.

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