From his gold medal at the 1960 Olympics through his epic fights with George Foreman and Joe Frazier to his late-life battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali never left the public eye in a tumultuous, controversial, and electrifying life as a boxer and spokesman of conscience. Brash and outspoken, he burst onto the sports scene in the 1960s, creating a new model for the African American athlete. His conversion to the Muslim faith and opposition to the Vietnam War made him a lightning rod for criticism, exposing the cultural fault lines of that decade. Stripped of the heavyweight title, he was vindicated in the courts and regained his title in 1974. Post-boxing, he became a citizen of the world, involving himself in global social and humanitarian causes that showed a commitment and compassion that made him a uniquely historic and beloved figure.


  • Title: Muhammad Ali
  • Creator: Yousuf Karsh
  • Date Created: 1970
  • Physical Dimensions: w40.3 x h50.2 cm (Image)
  • Type: Gelatin silver print
  • Rights: © The Estate of Yousuf Karsh National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Estrellita Karsh in memory of Yousuf Karsh
  • External Link: https://npg.si.edu/object/npg_NPG.2012.77.3
  • Classification: Photograph

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