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He took space science to such great heights! Colour-Chem's colorful personality ‘Mandolin’ stops playing... Tribute – Ja Ra Su New team at the helm at TANSTIA He breathed transport development Sivaraman, 100 A welcome biography on a towering CA Jeppiar calls it a day Another Leo of real estate and education is no more VV Goes... India’s Master Builder… Tribute - R K Baratan A versatile legend moves on He elevated B&C to its best... Saeed Jaffrey A genius civil servant fades A versatile, humane and efficient administrator/litterateur Cement, calcium carbide, shipping… TSN turned these and more into gold The scientist-engineer who lucidly explained economics The Hero of bicycles rests in peace He contributed so much to the telecom revolution A Gandhian breathes his last on Gandhi Jayanthi Transport S Narayanan Dada of drip irrigation... Centurion ‘Leo’ rests in peace A multi-faceted leader rests in peace He took Kone to great heights… Fighter-pilot turned monk... Tribute: Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas Missile Man takes flight The honest Sardarji KB Sir for all... Deora – the best networked politician.... He was the greatest. Master of strokes How to build a nation Question on Operation X Father of German unification no more... Justice Iyer, 100 R Desikan – the crusader of consumer interests is gone A multi faceted prince is no more... ‘Sai’ Srinivasan no more The ‘Q’ factor cost him Cabinet Secretary’s post Remembering I K Gujral… Remembering Chariji When SPIC spawned star managers... A honest bank executive... Music loses a maestro The Rajha of Rajapalayam... ‘Hero’ rides into the sunset Brilliant Saeed saab Endearing Aachi... Tribute – Baldev Raj If only he had fastened the seat-belt... Big ideas, not big words, are important... The motor sportsman is no more M Subramaniam Scientist and leader of educational reforms Honest civil servant Dr M G K Menon A statue for RV, at last! This trendsetter is no more Music Samrat!!! - TMS MSV – the King of Light Music Samskrt loses a passionate exponent... Flute falls silent Bal Thackeray KP is no more
 
He was the greatest.
He said that even before he knew he was.

On 3 June 2016, Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) was knocked out by Parkinson’s syndrome. In the final years of his life, the champion boxer was a pale shadow of his former self.

Born on 17 January 1942, in Louisville to middle-class parents, Ali started boxing when he was 12.  Six years later, in 1960, he headed to Rome and won the gold medal in the light heavyweight category.  

Popularly called  ‘Louisville Lip,’ Ali was against American racism. Outspoken to a fault, he once threatened to throw the Olympic gold medal into the Niles.

In the late 1960s, the man who would later call himself the ‘Greatest’ knocked out Sonny Liston to win the heavyweight title. He defended his championship five times. Controversy’s favourite child, Ali embraced Islam and refused to fight the Vietnam war because he said his faith did not allow him to do so.  For that crime, Ali was sentenced to imprisonment for five years, but managed to stay out of prison. Thereafter, Ali began lecturing in colleges, pointing out the hypocrisy and the denial of rights of blacks.  

Of him, he said, “I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.” In end 1971, he lost to Joe Frazier in a 15-round title match but picked enough strength to return the compliments three years later in 1974. He came out of retirement to fight and lose games to Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick.  His dream of retiring while still being the title holder was never to be. The ‘Greatest’ had to rest content with a glorious past.

And then came Parkinson. Despite failing health, Ali travelled to Lebanon in 1985 and Iraq in 1990 to help in the release of hostages.  In 1996, at Atlanta, he lit the Olympic flame and lifted the torch with shaking hands.  In 2005, George Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Muhammad Ali Centre was opened in the same year as an effort to promote tolerance and respect. Parkinson’s syndrome sucked the speaking ability and physical dexterity of Ali over 32 years.

By the way, when he died, the Islam community called him “voice for Muslims.” Bernie Sanders was all praise for him.  Ali roundly criticised  Republican presidential candidate - Donald Trump for seeking to ban Muslims from entering  America.

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