The New-York Historical Society commemorates the passing of Muhammad Ali with a special installation to celebrate his life and achievements. On view beginning June 10, Ali: A Tribute will feature his robe and gloves, signed by Ali, recently donated to New-York Historical as part of the Time Inc. Archive, as well as the photograph The Greatest, taken in 1967 by George Kalinsky.
Three-time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali (1942–2016) was one of the greatest athletes of our time—a superlative that the brash dynamo would himself proclaim. Born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, the boxer surprised everyone when he defied seven-to-one odds to beat reigning champion Sonny Liston in 1964. Ali captivated the world with his loud mouth, unorthodox boxing style, and political and religious convictions. He retook the heavyweight championship from George Foreman in 1974 at the “Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire, outlasting the power puncher on the ropes. Ali won the championship for the third time in 1978 against Leon Spinks and finally retired in 1981.
Later this year, the New-York Historical Society will present Muhammad Ali, LeRoy Neiman, and the Art of Boxing. The exhibition, slated to open December 16, will look at Ali's career and life as a boxer and public figure through vivid watercolors and on-the-spot sketches created by his friend, the artist LeRoy Neiman.