Muhammad Ali was among the great lives that ended in 2016. The self-proclaimed “greatest” boxer-turned-activist left a profound social and political legacy.


A little disappointment shouldn’t get you down. It should make you stronger for the final round. Take it from the champion of the world.

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali attends the 2014 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on September 27, 2014 in Louisville, United States(Image: Getty)

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.

Muhammad Ali
Former boxing Champion Muhammad Ali receives the Liberty Medal during a ceremony at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall on September 13, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania(Image: WireImage)

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

There to be shot at: The legendary cover shot from Esquire magazine depicting Ali as St. Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, who was shot by bow and arrow for sticking to his religious beliefs(Image: Carl Fischer)

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

Muhammad Ali
Facing the press: Muhammad Ali reads a poem to the watching throng of reporters during a training session(Image: Ken Regan)

“Don’t count the days; make the days count.”

2nd December 1974: World Heavyweight Champion boxer Muhammad Ali addressing a Nation of Islam meeting at the New Victoria Theatre in London(Image: Getty)

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Roadwork: Ali pounds the streets of Zaire as he prepares to take on George Foreman in The Rumble In The Jungle in 1974(Image: Sonia Katchian)

“Braggin’ is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.”

American heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali aims a playful punch at the camera outside his training hut at Deer Lake, in the mountains of Pennsylvania, 25th January 1974(Image: Getty)

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Muhammad Ali
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee: Muhammad Ali training for a world title bout, circa 1972(Image: Chris Smith)

“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Muhammad Ali seen here playing a round with two policemen just outside Dublin. Ali was in Ireland for his fight with Al Blue Lewis, July 1972

“If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”

Muhammad Ali pictured reading the Sunday Express newspaper, London, Great Britain, 23 May 1966.(Image: Getty)

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

August 1966: US boxer Muhammad Ali in training for a match against Brian London.(Image: Getty)

“At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”

Sonny Liston lies out for the count after being KO’d in the first round of his return title fight by world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, Lewiston, Maine, May 25, 1965(Image: Getty)

“I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.”

Muhammad Ali - Style Icon For Boxing

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

Ali In Training(Image: Getty)

“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

Cassius Clay with 6 years old Patrick Power in the ring during his training for the Heavyweight title fight against Henry Cooper, June 1963

“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

Cassius Clay eats a banana in London ahead of his fight with Henry Cooper, May 1963

“I’m the most recognized and loved man that ever lived cuz there weren’t no satellites when Jesus and Moses were around, so people far away in the villages didn’t know about them.”

Muhammad Ali sitting and reading Sports Illustrated magazine. Louisville, Kentucky 1963(Image: Getty)

“I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.”