A dark cloud covered the boxing world at the news of the Great Muhammad Ali passing on Fri­day, June 3, aged 74.

Ali died surrounded by family and loved ones in Arizona.

Ali was the father of nine children, seven daughters and two sons.

To date Ali remains the only three-time lineal World Heavy­weight Champion. He won the ti­tle in 1964, 1974, and 1978 Below are some highlights of his lifetime.

1942: Odessa Clay gives birth to her first child Jan. 17 in Louis­ville. She and her husband, a sign painter and church muralist, name the boy Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.

1954: Twelve-year-old Cassius rides his new bike to the Louisville Service Club’s convention, where children can get free ice cream and balloons. There, the boy’s bike is stolen. He vows to whip the thief if he finds him. He does find a po­liceman, Joe Martin, who teaches boxing in the Columbia Gym, in the Service Club basement. Mar­tin says Cassius should learn to fight before he does any whipping. Six weeks later, the 89-pound youngster wins his first fight, over Ronnie O’Keefe.

1959: Clay becomes the first Louisvillian to win a title in the Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in Chicago. He also wins the national Amateur Ath­letic Union light-heavyweight title — a feat he will repeat the follow­ing year.

1960: Clay graduates from Lou­isville Central High School.

Clay defeats Zbigniew Pi­etrzykowski of Poland on Sept. 5 to win the light-heavyweight box­ing gold medal at the Olympics in Rome.

Clay signs a professional con­tract with 11 Louisville business­men led by distillery executive William Faversham. The Louis­ville Sponsoring Group pays him a $10,000 signing bonus. He buys a pink Cadillac for his parents.

On Oct. 29, Clay makes his pro debut, scoring a six-round decision over West Virginia law­man Tunney Hunsaker in Free­dom Hall. Clay’s sponsors send Clay to San Diego to train under legendary fighter Archie Moore. Moore complains: “My wife is crazy about him, my kids are crazy about him, and I’m crazy about him, but he won’t do what I tell him to.” Clay says he wants to fight like Sugar Ray Robinson, not Moore.

By year’s end, 37-year-old Angelo Dundee becomes Clay’s trainer, beginning a spectacularly productive relationship. Clay ar­rives in Miami in December to work with Dundee, who doesn’t try to change the young fighter’s unorthodox, upright, hands-low style.

1961: Clay visits a mosque in Miami and later declares the expe­rience “the first time in my life that I felt truly spiritual.”

For his sixth pro fight, against Lamar Clark on April 19, Clay predicts — for the first time — the round in which he will defeat an opponent. He fulfills his promise that “This Clark will fall in two.”

1962: Clay hears Elijah Mu­hammad speak for the first time. He meets another Nation of Islam leader, Malcolm X, who becomes a friend and adviser.

On March 9, the military draft board classifies Clay 1-A, mean­ing he is fit and available to be called into the U.S. Army.

On Nov. 15, Clay meets his erstwhile trainer, 47-year-old Archie Moore, in Los Angeles, and knocks him out in the fourth round.

1963: Clay appears on the cov­er of Sports Illustrated for the first time, the June 10 issue, advancing his fight against Henry Cooper in London. He will eventually ap­pear on the magazine’s cover 35 times, second only to Michael Jordan.

1964: Because of a low score on the Army intelligence test, Clay is reclassified 1-Y, not quali­fied for military service, in Janu­ary. “I said I was ‘The Greatest,’ “ he explains. “I never said I was the smartest.”

Clay scores a stunning seventh-round defeat over 7-1 favorite Sonny Liston on Feb. 25 at the Miami Convention Center, win­ning the world heavyweight championship at age 22. His pes­simistic sponsors fail to plan a vic­tory celebration. By the time they can arrange one, Clay is in Mal­colm X’s hotel room, eating ice cream and chatting with football player Jim Brown.

In response to a reporter’s ques­tion the day after the fight, Clay confirms he is a member of the Nation of Islam, saying: “I believe in Allah and in peace. … I’m not a Christian anymore. … I’m free to be whatever I want. … Followers of Allah are the sweetest people in the world. They don’t tote weap­ons. They pray five times a day.”

Casting off his “slave name,” Clay adopts the temporary name Cassius X. On March 6 he an­nounces that Elijah has bestowed him the name Muhammad Ali. The name means “Praiseworthy One.”

In July, Ali has his first date with Sonji Roy, a fund-raiser for the Nation of Islam. Before the date is over, he proposes. They are mar­ried Aug. 14.

1965: Ali knocks out Liston in the first round of their rematch, before only 4,280 fans in Lewis­ton, Maine. Liston falls under a “phantom” punch that apparently few people saw, giving rise to suspicions that he threw the fight. Former champion Joe Louis even­tually declares Ali “unfit” to hold the title.

In October, former champion Floyd Patterson says: “Cassius Clay is disgracing himself and the Negro race.” On Nov. 22, Ali delivers a punishing defeat of Pat­terson, in part, he says, because Patterson refuses to call him Ali.

1966: Ali’s 17-month marriage to Sonji Roy ends in divorce in January. With the Vietnam War heating up, the Army lowers test-score standards, reclassifying Ali 1-A — fit for service. “Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong,” he says to reporters who call him at home in Miami. He later explains … “no Vietcong ever called me nigger.”

Ali asks to be reclassified a conscientious objector to military service. A judge sides with him, but the draft board keeps him 1-A, armed with a U.S. Justice Depart­ment opinion that Ali’s objections to military service are political, not religious.

Ali splits with the Louisville Sponsoring Group and chooses a new manager, Herbert Muham­mad, a son of Elijah.

1967: On April 28, Ali refuses induction into the U.S. Army in Houston. He says he is a minister of the Nation of Islam. Almost immediately, the New York State Athletic Commission strips Ali of his title. Other states follow suit. Ten days later, Ali is indicted.

“They took away his livelihood because he failed the test of politi­cal and social conformity,” sports­caster Howard Cosell said. “No­body said a damn word about the professional football players who dodged the draft, but Ali was dif­ferent: He was black, and he was boastful.”

On June 20, a jury deliberates 20 minutes before convicting Ali of refusing induction into the Army. He receives the maximum sentence: five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is freed on bail pending appeal.

On Aug. 17, Ali marries Belin­da Boyd, a teenage Chicago wait­ress with plans to go to secretarial school.

1968: Belinda and Muham­mad have the first of their four children, Maryum.Unable to fight, Ali earns money through a series of speaking engagements on col­lege campuses. Many Americans vilify Ali as a coward unwilling to fight for his country. Others agree with civil-rights leader Martin Lu­ther King Jr.’s view: “He is giving up millions of dollars to do what his conscience tells him is right.”

In December, Ali is jailed for a week in Miami for driving with an invalid license.

1970: As his appeals work their way through the courts, Ali finds a way to fight: Georgia, which has no state boxing com­mission, is willing to let him box. On Oct. 26 in Atlanta, he inflicts a third-round technical knockout on Jerry Quarry, running his record to 30-0.

1971: On March 8, Ali meets champion Joe Frazier in Madison Square Garden, with each fighter splitting a $5 million purse in “The Fight of the Century.” In­censed by Ali’s demeaning him as an “Uncle Tom,” Frazier inflicts the first defeat of Ali’s career — a 15-round decision. The victor then spends three weeks in a hos­pital.

On June 28, the Supreme Court unanimously overturns Ali’s 4-year-old draft conviction, say­ing that his claims as a conscien­tious objector were based on reli­gion and were sincere.

On July 26, Ali defeats fellow Louisvillian and former sparring partner Jimmy Ellis in a 12-round TKO, in the first bout after his conviction is overturned.

1973: On March 31, Ali suf­fers his second defeat, fighting 10 rounds with a broken jaw before losing a 12-round decision to Ken Norton.

1974: On Jan. 28, Ali meets former champion Frazier, who had been dethroned by George Foreman. “This may shock and amaze ya, but I will destroy Joe Fraze-yah,” Ali boasts. He wins a 12-round decision. On Oct. 30, Ali takes on Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, with the fighters splitting a $10 million purse. Ali lounges on the ropes, letting the champ punch himself into exhaustion, and scores an eighth-round knockout as the crowd cheers, “Ali boma ye!” (“Ali kill him!”)

1975: Elijah Muhammad dies Feb. 25. His son Wallace takes over the Nation of Islam, preach­ing a less strident message than his father’s. Eventually Ali will de­clare, “Wallace taught us the true meaning of the Koran. He showed us that colour doesn’t matter.”

On Oct. 1, Ali and Frazier stage one of the most dramatic fights in history — the “Thrilla in Ma­nila.” Analysts calculate that Frazier lands 440 punches. “I hit him punches that would bring cit­ies down,” Frazier says. But Ali scores regularly, too, and Frazier’s eyelids become so swollen he is practically blind. His trainer, Ed­die Futch, refuses to let him an­swer the bell for the 15th round. Ali is only slightly more able-bod­ied at the end: “It was,” he says, “the closest thing to death that I could feel.”

1976: In January, Ali divorc­es Belinda (who by now had changed her name to Khalilah). She is awarded nearly $2 million in the settlement.

1977: In June, Ali marries model Veronica Porche. One of their two children, Laila, eventu­ally becomes a professional boxer.

1978: On Feb. 15, Leon Spinks scores one of boxing’s most aston­ishing upsets, defeating Ali in a 15-round decision in Las Vegas. Ali will declare it the most disap­pointing moment of his career.

Before a crowd of 64,000 in the New Orleans Superdome on Aug. 15, Ali wins a 15-round de­cision over Spinks, becoming the first man to win the heavyweight championship three times.

Louisville changes the name of Walnut Street to Muhammad Ali Boulevard, over some businesses’ objections about the expense of changing addresses on company stationery.

Ali announces his retirement — prematurely, it turns out.

1980: Ali, 38, comes out of retirement to face champion Larry Holmes on Oct. 2 in Las Vegas. Holmes scores a techni­cal knockout in the 11th round. It is the first time in Ali’s 60 pro­fessional bouts that he fails to go the distance.

1981: Ali loses his last fight, a 10-round decision to Trevor Berbick in Nassau, Bahamas, on Dec. 11. “I came out all right for an old man,” he says. “We all grow old.” Ali’s record: 56 vic­tories, 5 losses, 37 knockouts.

1984: Ali’s Parkinson’s syndrome is made public. The symptoms include muscle trem­ors and slowed, slurred speech.

1986: Ali’s divorce from his third wife, Veronica, becomes fi­nal in January. On Nov. 19, Ali, 44, marries 28-year-old Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams, who grew up in Louisville before study­ing at Vanderbilt and UCLA. The 10-minute ceremony is conducted by Jefferson County Judge-Executive Harvey Sloane, in Sloane’s home.

1990: Ali’s 77-year-old fa­ther, Cassius Sr., dies of a heart attack on Feb. 9 in Louisville.