Muhammad Ali fought his way from the bottom to become a permanent American icon, known for his activism and 1-2 punch. Born as Cassius Clay Jr., he found boxing in his youth and used it as a means to escape the racially oppressed south. Boxing gave Muhammad Ali the platform he was destined to have. His critics loved to hate him, every kid wanted to be him, and his opponents were eager to beat him — though, rarely successful. His career is often regarded as one the greatest comebacks of all time after being stripped of his world champion boxing title. His most notable fights were ‘Fight of the Century,’ ‘Super Fight II,’ ‘Thrilla in Manila,’ and ‘Rumble in the Jungle.’Muhammad Ali was also a devout Muslim man, prompting his name change from Cassius Clay. He even had his wives convert to the Islam religion.Muhammad Ali dedicated most of his time to fighting racially inequality, engaging in speaking tours around colleges in the U.S., and even protested the Vietnam war. Muhammad Ali worked with Malcolm X to fight for racial justice in the civil rights movement. Muhammad Ali’s legacy continues to live on even after his death prompted by Parkinson’s disease in 2016. His biopic,‘Ali,’ starring Will Smith remains a fan favorite.Muhammad Ali then and now, is a permanent American icon. For more about Muhammad Ali, check out NowThis’ evolution of Muhammad Ali.