Muhammad Ali Life Of A Hero

Ali The Champ exhibit at Muhammad Ali Center; (c) Soul Of America

Muhammad Ali – Life of A Hero

Muhammad Ali Center (MAC) held its grand opening ceremony over 18-20 November 2005 at the center and the gala next door at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. The MAC is the definitive repository of Ali’s biographical materials. A native of Louisville, Ali’s backstory is covered from his roots, to his boxing career, his societal and religious convictions, stand against the unjust Vietnam War, and global humanitarianism, will come alive through both integrated and stand-alone experiences.

This is the real deal on his life, even the parts he regrets and has apologized for, like the insensitive remarks about Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Perhaps, more than anything, you see the evolution of the most recognized person in the world in the 20th century. If you want to absorb Ali’s life and accomplishments, plan on spending a full day at the MAC. Or better yet, make that 2 days if you want to super-size the experience – its that rich.

The 103,000 square foot building is located downtown overlooking the Ohio River. It features a grand lobby, tons of exhibit space, educational classrooms, distance learning facilities, orientation theatre, interactive multimedia learning experiences, technological personalized guides, an auditorium, five exploratory galleries, a temporary gallery, library/archives, a retail shop and café. Speaking to its broader mission of peacemaking, the function rooms seat up to 300 people. Let us pray that mankind will use this worthy facility early and often. See http://www.alicenter.org

President Bill Clinton delivered the best comment of the night when he said of Muhammad Ali, “Here is a powerful example, not an example of power.” Kris Kristofferson performed You Gotta Serve Somebody and Here Comes the Rainbow Again. He and Ali have been friends for over 30 years. Below is a partial list of other MAC grand opening gala attendees on 19 November 2005:

Ina Bond – Chairperson of the Muhammad Ali Center
Kentucky Governor John Brown
Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Angelo Dundee – Ali’s boxing manager
Howard Bingham – Ali’s photographer
Lennox Lewis – former heavyweight boxing champ
Evander Holyfield – former heavyweight boxing champ
Burt Sugarman – boxing commentator
Bryant Gumbel – sports commentator
Bob Costas – sports commentator
Tavis Smiley – talk show host
Sir David Frost – talk show host
David Novak – talk show host
Matt Lauer – talk show host
Montel Williams – talk show host
Mykelti Williamson – actor who played Don King
Ernie Orozco – Howard Cosell impersonator
Chris Tucker – comedian
Jim Carrey – comedian
Kathleen Battle – Opera singer
Ruben Studdard – R&B singer
Mavis Staples – Soul singer
Bebe and Cecie Winans – Gospel singers
Herbie Hancock – Jazz musician
James Taylor – Pop singer & songwriter
Wynonna Judd – Country singer
Alan Houston – pro basketball player

And of course, Muhammad and Lonnie Ali attended.

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