Muhammad Ali was an American Olympic gold medalist, an activist, and a family man.
His time spent inside the boxing ring turned him into one of the greatest sports figures of the 20th century and perhaps of all-time.
The heavyweight champion of the world, born Cassius Clay, fought in 61 bouts with 56 wins of which 37 were by way of knockout. He lost just 5 of his matches during his professional career.
His celebrity spread so far that he regularly held council with such famous people as Fidel Castro, the Dalai Lama, various U.S. Presidents, and the Pope.
Here are some of Ali’s greatest photos you have probably never seen before.
1. The 1960 Olympics in Rome
Muhammad Ali, still fighting under his former name, Cassius Clay, represented the United States of America in the 1960 Olympics. Ali traveled to Rome where he faced off against Soviet boxer Gennady Schatkov in a much anticipated match. Ali claimed the victory and took home the gold medal. His career skyrocketed along with his international notoriety after this famous fight.
He was a butterfly and a bee in the ring but his sting was only used to specifically attack his opponents. At home, Ali was a tender and loving father. In 1970 this photo was snapped as Ali fed one of his 10-week old twins, Reeshemah and Jamillah. The photo was taken inside their Philadelphia home. Ali was often spotted with his family, even as his fame continued to rise and he traveled around the world for his famous bouts.
3. The Champion Trains
A very young heavyweight fighter by the name of Cassius Clay trains at City Parks Gym in New York City on February 8, 1962. Ali was known for his long and tedious workouts and training sessions. There was very good reason he was able to float around the ring and so easily defeat many of his opponents. He famously proclaimed, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”
4. Ali Was No Stranger To Fun
In this photo, Cassius Clay celebrated with drinks at a restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. The photo was taken in 1963. Ali had a lot to celebrate in the 1960s as he continued to defend championships and take the world by storm. There are a number of photos in which he is seen throwing back drinks with beautiful women and famous friends.
5. Mohammad Ali — The Goofball
Mohammad Ali was serious in the ring but outside of a fight he was often seen goofing off for the amusement of his fans. This photo was taken on March 6, 1963. He was preparing for a fight with Doug Jones, an opponent he promised to “flatten” at Madison Square Garden on March 13. He beat Jones in a unanimous decision in what would be called the Ring’s Fight of the Year.