He won the heavyweight title for first time by beating Sonny Liston in Miami in 1964 as an 8-1 underdog. After the fight, Clay announced that he was member of the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Ali was stripped of his title in 1967 when he refused induction into the U.S. Army based on his religious beliefs. He lost three and a half years of boxing as a result. Ali had many memorable fights in his career, but is best known for his trilogy with Joe Frazier and the “Rumble in the Jungle” with George Foreman in Zaire in 1974 where he won the title for the second time. He would win the title a third time in 1978 defeating Leon Spinks.
Ali dealt with health problems, most notably, Parkinson’s disease. Muhammad Ali was 74 years old.