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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Remembering Muhammad Ali 1942 - 2016

Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at age 74, was the only three-time lineal world heavyweight boxing champion - a title he won in 1964, 1974 and 1978. Born "Cassius Clay" - and nicknamed "The Greatest" - he changed his name in 1964 after converting to Islam. Ali was also a conscientious objector to American involvement in the Vietnam War, which led to him being found guilty of draft evasion charges in 1967 and stripped of his boxing title (his conviction was overturned in 1970).

Some of his pop culture credits include a cameo role in the 1962 film, Requiem for a Heavyweight, a 1963 album of spoken word titled I Am the Greatest, and the lead role in the 1969 Broadway musical, Buck White, which ran for seven performances. Ali also played himself in The Greatest, a 1977 film adaptation of his 1975 autobiography, The Greatest: My Own Story. And in 1978, he was featured in his own DC comic book, Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.

Below I've selected some videos to celebrate Muhammad Ali's life.

He and Liberace were guests on The Jack Paar Show on November 29, 1963.

He was a guest on The Jerry Lewis Show on December 7, 1963.

He was the Mystery Guest on What's My Line? on September 19, 1965, and on November 5, 1970 (which aired in February 1971).

He and boxer Joe Frazier were guests on The Dick Cavett Show on January 24, 1974.

He was a guest - along with Tony Orlando and Billy Crystal - on Dinah Shore's talk show, Dinah!, on December 3, 1975.

He was a guest on Lola Falana's ABC special, Lola!, on December 18, 1975.

He was the guest of honor on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast on February 19, 1976.

He and Sylvester Stallone were presenters on the 49th Academy Awards on March 28, 1977.

He was a guest star (as himself) on NBC's Diff'rent Strokes on October 24, 1979.

In a rare acting role, he played a former slave who becomes a US Senator in the NBC miniseries, Freedom Road, which aired on October 29 and 30, 1979.

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