Family Tree Tuesday – Muhammad Ali
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1960, Ali won an Olympic gold medal in boxing after defeating Polish boxer Zbigniew Pietrzykowski. During his professional career, he became the first and only boxer to be named Wold Heavyweight Champion. In 2002, Ali received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the entertainment industry. His star is the only star not on the sidewalk, but rather on the wall of the Kodak Theatre to honor his request that it not be walked on. In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, however, despite his disability, he still remains active today as the public figure for many charitable organizations.
Ali was born to Cassius Clay, Sr., a painter and musician, and Odessa Clay. The couple were married in the 1930s and had two sons. Ali’s brother was born as Rudolph Valentino Clay. However, after converting to the Nation of Islam, Rudolph changed his name to Rahman Ali. Like his brother, Rahman was also a heavyweight boxer.
Interestingly, Ali is descended from a mixed race lineage. His mother’s paternal grandfather was Abe Grady, a white Irishman who emigrated to the United States from Ireland soon after the U.S. Civil War. Her maternal grandfather was Thomas Morehead, a soldier who served in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War.
Muhammad Ali was married four times and had a total of seven daughters and two sons. His daughter with his third wife Veronica Porche, Laila Ali, followed in her father’s footsteps and became a professional boxer. Laila has enjoyed a successful boxing career and is perhaps one of the most recognizable female boxers today.
Check out Muhammad Ali’s family tree and see how you’re related!