HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY: MUHAMMAD ALI
January 17, 2012 | Source: Monroe Gallery of Photography
Steve Schapiro: Cassius Clay, Lexington, Kentucky, 1963
Muhammad Ali: The Greatest Pictures
Via TIME Light Box:
Happy Birthday, Muhammad Ali: 70 Iconic Images for 70 Years
Muhammad Ali is coming home to Louisville to celebrate another milestone — his 70th birthday:
Muhammad Ali returning to Kentucky for 70th birthday- fundraiser for center and museum organized
Muhammad Ali soaked in familiar cheers and chants along with a rendition of "Happy Birthday" on Saturday night as friends and admirers celebrated the boxing champ's coming 70th birthday at a party in his Kentucky hometown.
As party-goers mingled in a lobby of the Muhammad Ali Center before the party, Ali walked slowly to a second-floor balcony overlooking them. The crowd immediately began to clap, then broke into chants of "Ali! Ali!" followed by singing as Ali watched for about two minutes.
But my favorite subject, no matter what the sport, was and still is Muhammad Ali.
I took my most famous picture on May 25, 1965, when Ali stopped Sonny Liston with one punch in the first round of their heavyweight championship fight in Lewiston, Maine. When Sports Illustrated published its special issue, "The Century's Greatest Sports Photos," my picture of Ali standing over Liston was the cover, and I was honored and thrilled by SI's choice. "It is a great picture of a key moment, filled with emotion and destined to remain etched in the minds of its viewers," says Steve Fine, SI's director of photography. "You can describe this picture to someone, without showing it to them, and they know exactly what you're talking about. It's a true icon of sports photojournalism." This image represents the way people want to remember Ali: strength, confidence and braggadocio. A two-minute fight might be a major disappointment for the fans, but for a photographer, it doesn't matter whether it goes 15 rounds or 15 seconds. All any editor ever expected from me was a great knockout picture. In Lewiston, the knockout happened exactly where I wanted it to, and my only thought was, "Stay right there, Sonny! Please don't get up!"
Muhammad Ali Knocks Out Sonny Liston, Lewiston, Maine, May 25, 1965