Muhammad Ali

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Muhammad Ali,

1769?–1849, pasha of Egypt after 1805. He was a common soldier who rose to leadership by his military skill and political acumen. In 1799 he commanded a Turkish army in an unsuccessful attempt to drive Napoleon from Egypt. As pasha he was virtually independent of his nominal overlord, the Ottoman sultan. He modernized his armed forces and administration, created schools, and began many public works, particularly irrigation projects. The cost of these reforms bore heavily on the peasants and brought them few benefits. In 1811 he exterminated the leaders of the MamluksMamluk
or Mameluke
[Arab.,=slaves], a warrior caste dominant in Egypt and influential in the Middle East for over 700 years. Islamic rulers created this warrior caste by collecting non-Muslim slave boys and training them as cavalry soldiers especially loyal to their
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, who had ruled Egypt almost uninterruptedly since 1250. With his son, Ibrahim PashaIbrahim Pasha
, 1789–1848, Egyptian general. He was the eldest son of Muhammad Ali, governor of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire. Ibrahim conducted (1816–19) largely successful campaigns against the Wahhabis in Arabia.
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, Muhammad Ali conducted successful campaigns in Arabia against the Wahhabis. In 1820 he sent armies to conquer Sudan. He scored great successes fighting for the Ottoman sultan in Greece until the British, French, and Russians combined to defeat his fleet at Navarino in 1827. The sultan, Mahmud II, to win his intervention in the Greek revolt, had promised to make him governor of Syria. When the sultan refused to hand over the province, Muhammad Ali invaded Syria with great success. In 1839 he attacked his overlord in Asia Minor, but was forced to desist when he lost the support of France and was threatened by united European opposition. In a compromise arrangement the Ottoman sultan made the governorship of Egypt hereditary in Muhammad Ali's line. He retired from office in 1848. Muhammad Ali is credited for his many domestic reforms, which hastened the foundations for an independent Egypt.


See H. H. Dodwell, The Founder of Modern Egypt (1931, repr. 1977); A. Marsot, Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali (1984).

Muhammad Ali,

1872–1925, shah of Persia (1906–9), son of Muzaffar ad-DinMuzaffar ad-Din
, 1853–1907, shah of Persia (1896–1907), son of Nasir ad-Din. A weak ruler, he borrowed money from Russia and failed to oppose the encroachments of Russia and Great Britain on Persian sovereignty. Much disaffection arose among the people.
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 Shah, of the Qajar dynasty. Muhammad Ali, who was an opponent of constitutional government, began to rule at a critical period just after the constitution of 1906 had been granted. His struggle with the nationalists led to the bombing of the newly established parliament. He called in the aid of the Russians, who organized a Cossack brigade for him. His attempt to overthrow the constitutional government brought on two short civil wars (1908–9). Muhammad Ali was finally forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Ahmad MirzaAhmad Mirza
, 1898–1930, shah of Persia (1909–25), son of Muhammad Ali. The last of the Qajar dynasty, he came to power as a result of a coup against his father. A regent initially ruled for him.
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. Later he attempted with Russian help to regain his throne, but he failed and afterward lived in exile in Russia.

Ali, Muhammad

(məhăm`əd älē`), 1942–2016, American boxer, b. Louisville, Ky. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, he was a 1960 Olympic gold medalist. Shortly after upsetting Sonny Liston in 1964 to become world heavyweight champion, he formalized his association with the Nation of Islam (see Black MuslimsBlack Muslims,
African-American religious movement in the United States, split since the late 1970s into the American Society of Muslims and the Nation of Islam. The original group was founded (1930) in Detroit by Wali Farad (or W. D.
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) and adopted the Muslim name Muhammad Ali.

Ali's flamboyant boxing style and outspoken stances on social issues made him a controversial figure during the turbulent 1960s and early 1970s. After beating Liston, he defended his title nine times, brashly proclaiming himself the "greatest of all time." In 1967 he refused induction into the armed services and became a symbol of resistance to the Vietnam War. The boxing establishment stripped Ali of his title and prevented him from fighting until the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971 upheld his draft appeal on religious grounds. Before retiring in 1981 Ali compiled a 56–5 record and became the only man to ever win the heavyweight crown three times. His fights with Joe FrazierFrazier, Joe
(William Joseph Frazier), 1944–2011, African-American boxer, b. Beaufort, S.C. Known for a brawling style and devastating left hook, "Smokin' Joe" won Olympic gold in 1964 and turned professional the next year.
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 and George ForemanForeman, George,
1948–, American boxer, b. Marshall, Tex. A high school dropout, Foreman learned to box in the Job Corps. In 1968 he was the Olympic heavyweight gold medalist.
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 were among boxing's biggest events.

In retirement, Ali was one of the most recognized world figures. The 1984 revelation that he suffered from Parkinson's disease renewed debate over the negative effects of boxing. His appearance at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, to light the Olympic flame, moved an international audience.


See his Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey (with H. Y. Ali, 2013) and The Greatest: My Own Story (with R. Durham, 2015); memoir by T. Shanahan (with C. Crisafulli, 2016); T. Hauser, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times (1991) and Muhammad Ali: A Tribute to the Greatest (2016); biography by J. Eig (2016); G. Early, ed., The Muhammad Ali Reader (1998); D. Remnick, King of the World (1998); R. Roberts and J. Smith, Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X (2016); Sports Illustrated, Muhammad Ali: The Tribute (2016).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Muhammad Ali

, Muhammed Ali, Mohammed Ali
original name Cassius (Marcellus) Clay. born 1942, US boxer, who was world heavyweight champion three times (1964--67; 1974--78; 1978)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Ali, Muhammad (b. Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.)

(1942–  ) boxer; born in Louisville, Ky. From 1956–60, as Cassius Clay, he fought as an amateur (winning 100 of 108 matches) before becoming the light-heavyweight gold medalist in the 1960 Olympics. Financed by a group of Louisville businessmen, he turned professional and by 1963 had won his first 19 fights. In 1964 he won the world heavyweight championship with a stunning defeat of Sonny Liston. Immediately after that, Clay announced that he was a Black Muslim and had changed his name to Muhammad Ali. After defending the championship nine times within two years, he was stripped of his title in 1967 when he refused induction into the U.S. Army on religious grounds. His action earned him both respect and anger from different quarters, but he did not box for three and one-half years when in 1971 he lost to Joe Frazier. A few months later the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed his right to object to military service on religious grounds and he regained the title in 1974 by knocking out George Foreman in Zaire, Africa. Ali defended his title ten times before losing to Leon Spinks in 1978. When he defeated Spinks later that same year, he became the first boxer ever to regain the championship twice. Famous for his flamboyant manner, his boasting predictions of which round he'd defeat his opponent, and his doggerel verse ("float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"), he was also recognized as one of the all-time great boxers with his quick jab and footwork. He compiled a career record of 56 wins, five losses, with 37 knockouts, before retiring in 1981. During the 1960s and 1970s he was arguably the best-known individual in the entire world due not only to his controversial career but also to his travels and deliberate reaching out to the Third World. In the 1980s it was revealed that he was suffering from a form of Parkinson's disease, but he made occasional appearances to the acclaim of an admiring public.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
ANSWERS: 1 Calcutta' 2 Canada' 3 Aberdeen' 4 Convex' 5 By the grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith' 6 The Louisville Lip' 7 Meridian' 8 Marchioness' 9 Sir Isaac Newton' 10 Elizabeth I.
They call him "The Louisville Lip" because of his Kentcuky hometown and his non-stop big mouth.
Muhammad Ali got away with being the Louisville Lip because he was also The Greatest.
Muhammad Ali "I AM THE greatest", you would hear him say This brash young man, named Cassius Clay Known as the Louisville Lip, He talked faster than a cowboy shooting from the hip Changed his name to Muhammad Ali He floated like a butterfly, and stung like a bee With his Ali shuffle, and speed of hand He became the greatest, throughout the land Some epic battles he fought in his day Especially with Joe Frazier, from south Carolina way The one he called a gorilla, who he fought in That Thriller in Manila Another hard-hitter he went on to beat Was fearsome George Foreman in the jungle heat Written in the annals of boxing history Who could ever forget the great Muhammad Ali?
And his non-stop stream of cocky chat gave rise to his other nickname - The Louisville Lip.
"The Louisville Lip spoke to everyone, but we heard him in a way no one else could - as our brother, our uncle, and our inspiration."
He joined the "Louisville Lip" for the celebration, along with the likes of Earnie Shavers, George Chuvalo, Ernie Terrell and Leon Spinks.
1971 The "Louisville Lip" was silenced at long last today as former world champion Muhammad Ali - Cassius Clay - went into hiding after his defeat by the present champion, Joe Frazer.
Runner-up in the Kingdom Gold Cup at Killarney last month, Princeton Plains is one of three runners for Ireland's champion owner, who is also represented by Thomas Edison and Louisville Lip.
A LEGEND There was a boxer I heard a man say Goes by the name of Cassius Clay He was young, handsome and fit They nicknamed him the Louisville Lip He said: "I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" Then changed his name to Muhammed Ali People came from miles around and looked in awe As he knocked boxer after boxer to the floor At last he had found fortune and fame He had made his mark, everyone knew his name The greatest heavyweight you did see We won't forget you Muhammed Ali.
That was the night Cooper produced his famous "Enery's 'ammer" and sensationally dropped the Louisville Lip with that left hook.

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