Born in Louisville, Kentucky as Cassius Clay in 1942, he rose through amateur and then professional boxing. He won the Olympic Gold medal in Rome and later turned to professional career. He stunned Sonny Liston to win the World Heavyweight champion title in 1964. He became a member of Nation of Islam and later converted to Islam in 1975.
He is an icon today not only because of winning the Heavyweight title three times but also because of his stand against racial injustice and anti-war stand.