"I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was."Today is Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday.
As Michael Ezra writes, it is truly fascinating how Ali has been transformed over time from a reviled, polarizing figure to a revered American icon: "His emergence as boxing's eminence gris, one of the country's most beloved figures, tells us much about how Americans construct the past to make sense of the present."
The Washington Post and Time each provide a photo gallery of some of Ali's iconic moments.
And for some timeless reading, The New Yorker has made available two classic pieces. One by A. J. Liebling, written in 1962, about Ali's first professional fight, and a second by David Remnick, from 1998, about how Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali. And here is a much admired 1975 article from Sports Illustrated about the Thrilla in Manila.
Happy Birthday Champ.