First known for boxing, and later for his conscientious stance on the Vietnam War draft, Ali focused his awareness of the needs of his fellow citizens and those in the developing world to direct his good work. In addition to challenging racial and religious preconceptions at home, he served as a symbol of hope and a catalyst for constructive international dialogue, delivered sorely-needed medical supplies to an embargoed Cuba, provided more than 22 million meals to the world’s hungry, and helped secure the release of fifteen U.S. hostages from Iraq during the first Gulf War. The United Nations named him a Messenger of Peace, and he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as Amnesty International’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In September 2012, he was the recipient of the prestigious National Constitution Center Liberty Medal.
Muhammad Ali was a boxer, philanthropist and social activist who is universally regarded as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.