Muhammad Ali, one of the most significant athletes of the 20th century and a legendary professional boxer, is celebrated for his accomplishments in the ring. However, beyond his sporting achievements, Ali’s personal life was marked by a series of turbulent relationships and a complex love life that often overshadowed his career.
Ali, born in Kentucky, began his boxing career at the age of 12. At just 18, he won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics, marking the beginning of his professional involvement in the sport.
Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, the boxer converted to Islam in 1961 and subsequently changed his name to Muhammad Ali. His decision to change his name was driven by his newfound faith, and he remained devoted to his religious beliefs throughout his life.
In 1966, Ali refused to join the US military during the Vietnam War due to his religious and ethical convictions. This decision led to allegations of draft evasion, and all of his boxing titles were subsequently revoked. The charges were later dropped, and he resumed his career.
As a professional boxer, Ali participated in some of the most iconic fights in the history of the sport, solidifying his status as one of the greatest boxers of all time. However, while he demonstrated extraordinary abilities in the ring, his private life was often marred by controversies and strained relationships with his partners and lovers.
Ali entered into marriage four times during his life and went through three divorces. He reached settlements outside the courtroom with his three ex-wives, ensuring that they received a significant portion of his assets.
His first wife was Sonji Roi, whom he married in 1964. They had a brief marriage that ended due to differences, including Sonji’s reluctance to embrace his religion.
In 1967, just a year after divorcing Sonji, Ali married Khalilah Camacho-Ali. Khalilah, who converted to Islam and adopted a new name, married Ali at the age of 17. They had three children together, but their marriage was tumultuous. Khalilah later claimed that Ali had a sexual addiction that drove a wedge between them. She even arranged hotel rooms for Ali’s extramarital affairs.
During his marriage to Khalilah, Ali fathered two children outside the marriage, one of them with a 16-year-old girl.
In one particularly notorious incident, while Ali was in a different state for a boxing match, he was in the company of a 19-year-old woman, Veronica, whom he shamelessly introduced as his wife while his actual spouse, Khalilah, remained at home.
Khalilah learned of this through the American media and was deeply embarrassed, leading to their eventual divorce. The same year of their divorce, in 1986, Ali married his fourth and final wife, Yolanda Williams. While they didn’t have biological children together, they adopted a son. Their marriage lasted until Ali’s passing in 2016.
In June 2016, Muhammad Ali spent several days in the hospital due to respiratory issues. He passed away at the age of 74. Ali had been battling Parkinson’s disease for 32 years, which greatly affected his ability to speak and move during the later stages of his life. This, combined with his age, contributed to his passing.
Following Ali’s death, there were reports of his children engaging in legal battles over his estimated $80 million fortune. It is believed that each of his nine children received approximately $6 million, while his widow received around $12 million. However, the whereabouts of the rest of his assets and property remain unknown. Ali’s legacy in the boxing world endures, but his complex love life and personal relationships continue to be a subject of fascination and intrigue.