Muhammad Ali in his hometown – 1963

In 1963 a young Life  photographer was asked to spend a day with an up-andcoming- young  21-year-old-black boxer by the name of Cassius  Marcellus Clay, in his home town  of Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.    ” I’ll never forget the that day, ” said Steve Schapiro.   ” The reaction from his hometown people was incredible.   You could see that he was a hero who had the common touch.  He certainly was a man of the people.”    Later that year Clay went on to defeat  Henry  Cooper but not before the British boxer floored him with a hook  at the end of  fourth round.   In 1964 he went on to defeat Sony Liston and become the youngest every World Heavyweight Champion.
Now almost fifty years later, The Greatest, known to the world as Muhammad Ali,  will return to his home town to celebrate his 70th birthday.

More more pictures from Steve Schapiro’s exclusive  photo-shoot go to our website……

to visit Steve Schapiro’s website go    To see a selection of Steve’s work available as prints to buy go


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