It was a glorious day in Philadelphia this Thursday as boxing legend Muhammad Ali received a Liberty Medal for his longtime fight for humanitarian causes, civil rights and religious freedom.
Today, 30 years after his time of glory, Muhammad Ali was back in the spotlight. The boxing legend received the Liberty Medal in honor of his supporting of everything from civil rights, to humanitarian causes and religious freedom. Muhammad Ali now awarded with the Liberty Medal joins an A-list featuring names such as Bono, Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter.
After ending his career in 1981, Ali traveled round the world helping people and contributing in humanitarian causes. He received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2005. The boxing legend was also the one who established the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Research Center in Phoenix and set up an educational and cultural institute in his hometown, Louisville, Ky.
After 30 years of dealing with Parkinson, the 70-year-old Ali needed assistance during his Liberty Medal acceptance ceremony. His daughter Laila Ali was by his side all the time.
“You know, my father loves people and people love my father, and I learned that at a very young age, as people would always come up to him wherever we went” said Laila Ali. “My father has always lived his life to make this world better for others” Muhammad Ali’s daughter added.
Born Casius Clay, Ali changed his name after converting to Islam in the ‘60s. Because of that, he couldn’t fight in the Vietnam War and suffered through the scrutiny for a long time. Muhammad Ali was even stripped of some of his medals for his decision that the politicians of that time though to be cowardly. Almost a decade later he regained his heavyweight boxing title, in 1974 and again in 1978.
Joe Louis Barrow II, the son of boxer Joe Louis, was in Philadelphia today to support Muhammad Ali. “Knowing you since I was a little boy has given me a ringside seat to history,” an emotional Barrow said. “But it’s your character outside the ring that speaks to the hope of the least and lost among us.”