CRAWFORD | Ali makes 39th Sports Illustrated cover, to be honore - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Ali makes 39th Sports Illustrated cover, to be honored by magazine Thursday

Posted: Updated:
Sports Illustrated's Sept. 30 cover features Muhammad Ali, for the 39th time. Sports Illustrated's Sept. 30 cover features Muhammad Ali, for the 39th time.
Sports Illustrated's cover for Sept. 30, 2015. Cover photo by Neil Leifer. Sports Illustrated's cover for Sept. 30, 2015. Cover photo by Neil Leifer.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — For the 39th time, Muhammad Ali will appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated when the magazine hits newsstands later this week.

The photo, shot by SI’s Neil Leifer in 1965, shows Ali in his prime, with the headline, “The Legacy of the Greatest Still Grows.”

The occasion is the renaming of SI’s Legacy Award, which Ali will receive in an event at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville Thursday night, an event that will be attended by, among other dignitaries, one of his former foes — George Foreman.

The award has been given since 2008 to honor former athletes and sports figures who embody the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy as vehicles for changing the world.

SI writer Tim Layden was tasked with writing about Ali for the cover story, and it’s a difficult assignment, because there are few subjects who are bigger. Ali filled reporters notebooks for his entire career, but now he’s been silenced, to the public anyway, by Parkinson’s Disease.

He still can communicate, mostly in the mornings when his mind is fresh. Layden submitted a few questions to Ali for his SI piece and got brief answers. His wife Lonnie assured him the words are from the champ. You can read the story, with Ali’s brief responses, here.

Of Ali, Layden wrote, “The Greatest is still an inspirational force: in the way his mere presence can move people to tears, in his brave fight against Parkinson’s, and in the annual SI award that will bear his name.”

Ali’s evolution from brashness and bravado to outspoken activism on behalf of African-Americans to a universal message of peace for all people makes his story timeless, his message valuable to all people, and his legacy virtually limitless.

I’ve probably written it enough that people are tired of reading it, but his voice today is badly needed in American society, in the Muslim world, everywhere.

Read Layden’s cover story on Ali, and access a collection of Ali covers from SI, interviews with photographer Neil Leifer and an archive of stories about Ali by clicking here.

RELATED

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

  • Sign Up for the WDRB Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Sign Up for WDRB's Sports Newsletter

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.