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MUHAMMAD ALI--THE GREATEST

Mr. Speaker, Muhammad Ali was, indeed, the greatest, and he spent considerable time in Chicago. Therefore, I got the opportunity to meet and know him. On occasion, I would visit with my friends Frank Lipscomb, Wallace Davis, Jr., and Ralph Metcalf, Jr., and we would visit with him in his Kenwood home and at meetings. Although Muhammad Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, those of us who lived in Chicago embraced Ali as a fellow Chicagoan because of his relationship to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who was with the Nation of Islam, and because of his involvement and engagement with the larger community. Muhammad Ali was not only the best boxer in the world, but during his heyday, he was a genuine hero to everyday people who felt that he was a part of them.

   In 1966, 2 years after winning the heavyweight title, he refused to be conscripted into the military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the American involvement in the Vietnam war. He was eventually arrested, found guilty of draft evasion, and stripped of his boxing titles. He successfully appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971. By that time, he had not fought for nearly 4 years and lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. Ali's actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for those who opposed the war.

   With a record of 61 total fights, 56 wins--37 by knockouts--and just five losses, Muhammad Ali was, obviously, a superb athlete, but he was so much more. He was a humanitarian, a principled man. He was proud of his heritage, proud of his abilities, and proud of his accomplishments.

   Muhammad Ali, a soldier in the people's army. I salute you. 

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    repName Danny K. Davis  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago District Office
    2813-15 W. Fifth Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60612
     
    district 7th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
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    repDistrict 7  
    repState Illinois  
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