Follow in Muhammad Ali’s footsteps of greatness in the Champ’s hometown Louisville.
Muhammad Ali is a US Olympic Gold Medallist, three-times heavyweight Campion, Global Humanitarian, UN Ambassador and US Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient. You can now celebrate the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali by following his footsteps in his hometown of Louisville, where he is also known as the 'Louisville Lip'.
Muhammad Ali Centre, Louisville
Visit the Muhammad Ali Centre, a vision of the Ami family, which opened in 2005 and celebrates the life of the world-class boxer and global humanitarian. Located in downtown Louisville for over a decade, the six-story multicultural centre and award-winning museum features exhibits spotlighting the six core values Ali strived to live by throughout his life: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Respect, Giving and Spirituality. Highlights include a mock boxing ring, Ali boxing memorabilia, a theatre that screens a short film showcasing Ali’s life and a full-size boxing ring, where a large projector displays ‘The Greatest’, his signature fight.
Muhammad Ali Childhood Home
Ali lived in the West Louisville house during his childhood in the 1940s through the early 1950s. The home was renovated, and returned to its original pink state, in 2016. Although the home is not a museum at present, a bronze marker located in front of the house reads: ‘Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr was born on Jan 17,1942, at Louisville General Hospital. He grew up and lived in the house. …. here is where young Clay’s values were instilled.'
Ali first learned to box at the Columbia Gym, located in the basement of Columbia Auditorium, which is now the Spalding University Centre. He was invited by Joe Marin, as police officer who also worked as a boxing coach. Ali met Martin when the young teen reported his red bicycle stolen. He never recovered the bike, but his fate was sealed with that encounter. The gym, where Ali first practiced his cutting jabs and fast footwork, is still used by Spalding athletes today.
Cave Hill Cemetery
This scenic 296-acre Victorian era National Cemetery and arborentum is the native son’s final resting place. Public visiting hours are daily from 8am to 4.45pm. Ali joins other famous Kentucky icons, including KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders, Louisville founder George Roger Clark, bourbon legend Pappy Van Winkle and the Hill sisters, former Louisville school teachers and authors of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.
Other Ali-related Louisville Landmarks include:
- Central High School, where he graduated in 1960
- Freedom Hall, home to his first professional fight.
- Second Street Bridge. Where legend has it, Ali tossed his Olympic Gold Medal into the Ohio River after being denied service in a local restaurant.
- Muhammad Ali Boulevard
- Smoketown Boxing Glove Monument
- Kentucky Rushmore Mural
- Ali’s Hometown Hero Banner