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