Winter 2014 Auction Closing Feb 7
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/8/2014

With the hyperbole, the media and the rhyming slogans aside, Muhammad Ali was a deep and very cerebral man. Deeply troubled about the way his race was treated, and after his stunning victory in the 1960 Olympics, the young Cassius Clay began to seriously question conventional thought. Besides actively fighting against racism, Clay rethought the faith he was brought up in and after much careful thought and study, converted to Islam in 1964.


This remarkable and incredibly important 18 pages of writing in his own hand documents The Champ's personal journey from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. Written in an honest stream-of-consciousness style, one can just see in his hand writing the deep thought and personal turmoil he went through on the way to discovering his personal faith. The bold, black and blue ink pages describe his first visit to a Black Muslim Temple in 1959: "At first on entering the hall I thought to myself when I heard the Brothers bearing [witness] to the speaker that the[y] must be fanatics or something. But what the Minister was saying was getting so good, and it was so true, it answered many things I had always wondered about, but never got the answer [to] in the Christian Church or at school or in the library nor did my mother or father know this to tell or teach me...So I stay[ed] for 1 1/2 [h]our, listening to the Muslim teaching of Islam as taught by The Hon. Elijah Muhammad…"


Ali goes on to describe the seeds that were planted in him that led to his becoming Muhammad Ali: "[H]e said that we the so-called Negroes are some 25 million people, and we don't even know our own true names, and I said to myself, What do you mean I don't know my true name. [M]y name is Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., that's my name. [A]nd at about that time he started to explain what he meant about we not having our own name...and then he hit me with the Bomb. [H]e said that...Negroes in America have white people's names. Then he went on to say that in slavery we were named after our white slave masters to identify us as property of [certain] slave masters...[A]t that moment I was pretty well shook up, because I had never thought of these things. [A]lthough this was the first time I had heard such a teaching, I knew that I could not disagree with him…"


This is 18 pages of a man recalling how he discovered his true inner-self and faith. The passion streaming from his pen is evident by the bold strokes and quick but determined penmanship - Ali was pouring his entire soul out for us on these very pages.


Very rarely does one get to witness the thought process of a man as bare and honest as this - and that it is the Champ - Muhammad Ali - doing the writing makes it all the more unique and touching. Today not many recall the controversy and hatred that greeted him when he converted to Islam. It took years for sportswriters to acknowledge his name "Muhammad Ali" and the disparaging remarks pointed towards him would shock many of us who are used to the politically-correct world we live in today. To fully understand the man who is regarded as the greatest boxer of all-time, you must read these thoughts. No other sports figure - make that any public figure - has been more honest and open about a profound period of his life than Ali has here. On a collector's level, this is one of the longest hand written Ali documents around. It also contains one of the only (perhaps THE only) instance where his full signature "Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr." can be obtained. This group is also noteworthy as this was the very first draft of this pivotal part of his life later used in Ali's first autobiography. A truly extraordinary and personal document we are honored to offer in our auction. Letter of Authenticity from James Spence Authentication. Also, this entire ensemble has been Pre-certified by PSA/DNA.

For clarification, this lot includes 18 total pages, pages 7-24 (errantly Ali numbered 2 pages '23').
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $24,836.55
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Saturday, February 8, 2014.
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