Segments in this Video

Muhammad Ali: Introduction (02:01)


This segment orients viewers to the story of Muhammad Ali, a former American professional boxer who was a controversial figure.

Lighting the Olympic Cauldron (02:09)

On July 19th, 1996, Ali lights the Olympic cauldron in Atlanta. Jim Brown wonders if this decision was made because of Ali's deteriorating health. LL Cool J defines Ali's life as the hero's journey.

Ali's Early Years (04:03)

Cassius Marcellus Clay is born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1942. In 1956, Clay meets boxing coach, Joe Martin. Within weeks he wins his first armature fight, and moves on to become a National Golden Glove winner; Lloyd Price, reflects on his first encounter with Clay.

Ali's Raw Talent (02:33)

In 1960, Clay wins the U.S. Olympic Trials, then goes on to win a medal at the Summer Games in Rome. Bob Arum discusses Clay's sponsorship when he returns home. On October 29, 1960, Clay begins he professional boxing career.

Ali's Supremely Confident Persona (03:41)

From 1961 to 1963, boxing coach Angelo Dundee leads Clay to 19 straight victories. Gaining confidence, Clay starts to predict the round his opponents will fall. He becomes a part of the Hip Hop revolution and a symbol of strength.

Ali Sets Sights on Sonny Liston (03:05)

At 21, Clay campaigns to fight the reigning champ, Sonny Liston. Controversy surrounds Clay, as members of the Nation of Islam join his crew. Price reflects on attending black empowerment meetings with Clay.

Birth of Muhammad Ali (03:00)

On February 25th, 1964, Clay defeats Liston, making him the heavyweight champion. During a conference after the fight, Clay confirms he is a member of the Nation of Islam.

Phantom Punch (02:34)

In August of 1964, Ali marries Sonji Roi. Thomas Hauser describes the professional and personal difficulties Ali faced as a member of the Nation of Islam. In May of 1965, Ali fights Liston again.

Ali's Life Transitions (02:55)

In 1965, Floyd Patterson turns his fight with Ali into a social, political, and religious battle. Ali wins the fight, divorces Roi, and retains Herbert Muhammad as his new manager.

Anti-Draft Campaign (02:50)

With the escalation of the Vietnam War, Ali is reclassified. The growing controversy over his anti-draft stand forces him to fight outside of the U.S.

Ali's Induction Refusal (02:28)

In April of 1967, Ali receives his draft notice. After refusing to take the oath of induction into the Army, the World Boxing Association strips him of his title. Ali is convicted of draft evasion.

"Comeback Kid" (03:24)

To earn money, Ali embarks on a college lecture tour and appears on television with sports journalist, Howard Cosell. Leroy Johnson strikes a deal to spark Ali's comeback.

Fighting for a Cause (02:10)

The NAACP sues the athletic commission on behalf of Ali and his boxing ban is lifted. The match-up between Ali and Joe Frazier becomes a clash of cultures.

Fight of the Century (02:16)

On March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden, Ali suffers his first loss at the hands of Frazier. Ali's conviction for draft evasion is overturned four months later.

Rumble in the Jungle (04:11)

In 1974, promoter Don King strikes a deal with Zaire's president to hold the heavyweight championship match between George Foreman and Ali. On the night of October 30, 1974, Ali becomes the Heavy Weight Champion of the World.

Thrilla in Manilla (02:47)

The third and final boxing match between Ali and Frazier occurs in Manilla, Philippines on October 1st, 1975. Ali wins by technical knockout.

Ali's Declining Skills (02:22)

Ali's speed and skills are noticeably diminishing during his fight with Earnie Shavers. In February of 1978, Ali loses his title to Leon Spinks, but regains it seven months later. In December 1980, Ali loses to Larry Holmes. A year later, after his loss to Trevor Berbick, Ali retires.

Ali's Retirement (02:12)

In 1984, Ali's Parkinson's syndrome diagnosis becomes public. Hear testimony from friends and family about his personality. In 1986, Ali marries his fourth wife, Lonnie Williams. In 1996, Ali is selected to light the Olympic cauldron.

Ali's Legacy (03:27)

In 1996, Ali lights the Olympic cauldron. In January 2005, Ali receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Experts reflect on the public's perception of Ali.

Credits: Muhammad Ali: In Their Own Words (00:36)

Credits: Muhammad Ali: In Their Own Words

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Muhammad Ali: In Their Own Words

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He changed boxing almost as much as he changed the world. Follow Muhammad Ali's rise from Columbia Gym in Louisville, Kentucky to international fame, as he transcended his great athletic achievements to become one of the most influential Americans of his time. His once-polarizing figure ultimately became a beloved and honored national hero. Witness key events unfold in Ali's life, including his stunning conversion to Islam and his change of name, his dramatic stand against the Vietnam-era draft, his three-year exile from the ring, his legendary comeback fights, his courageous battle with Parkinson's disease, and his inspirational reemergence on the world stage at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Hear from Ali’s daughters Laila and Maryum Ali, former wife Khalilah Camacho Ali, NFL great Jim Brown, boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard, rappers and actors LL Cool J and Common, boxing promoter Bob Arum, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Lloyd Price, and biographer Thomas Hauser. Distributed by PBS Distribution  

Length: 55 minutes

Item#: BVL114664

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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