Immigration authorities detain Muhammad Ali, Jr. at Florida airport, demand to know if he's Muslim

The adult son of Muhammad Ali, the late Muslim-American boxing star and civil rights hero, was detained for hours at a Florida airport by U.S. immigration officials, the Courier-Journal reports. Read the rest

Billy Crystal's eulogy for Muhammad Ali

Comedian Billy Crystal gave this lovely eulogy for his good friend Muhammad Ali. Read the rest

What the Pentagon learned from Muhammad Ali

Matt Taibbi takes to Rolling Stone to tell us about the lessons that the US military learned from the powerful bruising it received from Muhummad Ali's refusal to fight in Vietnam: namely, that America should fight its wars with all-volunteer armies whose ranks were disproportionately drawn from the poor and desperate, which dissipated the political pressure that arose from drafting the rich, the powerful and the famous to fight. Read the rest

Hear Muhammad Ali sing out against tooth decay

In 1976, Muhammad Ali collaborated with Howard Cosell, Frank Sinatra, Jayne Kennedy, Richie Havens, and others on an LP titled "Ali and His Gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay." Listen below! Apparently, there was a planned sequel titled "Ali and His Gang vs. Fat Cat the Dope King" but sadly it never appeared.

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Muhammad Ali had a personal magic trick teacher

I had no idea Muhammad Ali loved magic. This is a great story about a friendship between a young magician living with the aftereffects of polio, and the world's greatest athlete.

From Vox:

[Terry] La Sorda took the dare, opened Ali’s pack of cards, and asked Ali to pick a card, any card. Then he gave Ali the deck to put the card back in it without telling the magician where it went. Ali turned his huge back and shuffled the deck.

"He turned around saying ‘You’re never gonna find this card, you’re going to make a fool out of yourself!’" La Sorda recalled.

Then Ali looked up and saw his card dangling from La Sorda’s mouth. Ali dropped the deck in shock.

"The cards fell on the floor and I thought he was going to hit me," La Sorda said. "One of those huge fists would hit me. Then, suddenly, he’s on the ground, the robe all around him, picking up all the cards … [saying] ‘put another one on me. I like that!’"

For the next two hours, the two men were nose to nose, as La Sorda performed one trick after the other.

La Sorda said that Ali told him that he had asked professional magicians in Las Vegas to teach him magic before, but no one took him seriously. That first night, Ali asked La Sorda who his manager was. La Sorda didn’t have a manager; he wasn’t a professional magician. La Sorda was, instead, an engineer, a burgeoning metallurgist, having first worked with steel when trying to fix a pair of broken polio braces when he was 13 years old.

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Hear Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali's spoken word album from 1963

In August 1963, Cassius Clay released a spoken word/musical LP titled "I Am The Greatest." This was before he became the heavyweight champion of the world and renamed himself Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam. Above is the title track from that album, which was also released as two different 7" singles. The first single's b-side was a song called "Will The Real Sonny Liston Please Fall Down," (released after Ali beat Liston), and the second was a cover of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," both below:

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