One of the defining personalities of my formidable years without question was Mohammed Ali.

Think about the 1970’s without Ali. His star shone brightly far beyond the boxing ring. Simply put Ali was boxing and for many of us- he always will be. You didn’t even need to like boxing and to still be interested in his career. Love him or hate him- you simply could not ignore him.

Imagine how bland the decade would have been without the fiery comments and competitive zeal of the man who unabashedly called himself ‘The Greatest!’

It would be like football without Coach Landry or racing without Richard Petty or  Cesars Palace without Evel Kneivel or the movies without Jaws! Ali stands tall among the most vivid memories of my 1970’s.

Who over 50 cannot remember the legendary battles between George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Mohammed Ali? The fights had epic names too, The Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manilla.

I think we should all take a moment and celebrate a true American icon, a man who defined what it meant to define yourself for others. Truly a one of a kind original was Mohammed Ali.