- The time Muhammad Ali stopped a man from leaping to his death.
In January 1981, the champ talked a man down from a ninth-floor ledge.
- Op-Ed Contributor: Muhammad Ali: Never the White Man’s Negro
When he was a young man, the best black boxers were expected to be cautious and restrained. But Ali would have none of it.
- Ali’s confidence, cockiness made him symbol of black pride
For Muhammad Ali, the idea of being a humble athlete — someone pre-packaged and palatable for white America — was never an option. Instead, he demanded respect not only as a boxer but as a brash, unbought and unbossed black man and endeared himself to African-Americans as a symbol of black pride. He radiated courage and confidence, skill and showmanship.
- Muhammad Ali: The True Definition of Success and Celebrity
As this three-time world champion boxer is being remembered, lauded and applauded after his passing, I argue that not only did his superior skills in a fight make him stand alone, but it was his substantive and unselfish existence that served to redefine what celebrities should be honored for and therefore made him the global phenomenon that he was and remains even upon his death.