Boxing legend Muhammad Ali is to be given the 2012 Liberty Medal
at the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia on September
The 70-year-old, known for his outspoken comments on social and
political issues as well as his skills in the ring, has been
nominated for the accolade because of his humanitarian work.
"Ali embodies the spirit of the Liberty Medal by embracing the
ideals of the Constitution -- freedom, self-governance, equality
and empowerment -- and helping to spread them across the globe,"
said former US President Bill Clinton, who is now the chairman of
the National Constitution Centre.
David Eisner, National Constitution Centre president and chief
executive officer, added: "Muhammad Ali symbolizes all that makes
America great, while pushing us as a people and as a nation to be
better. Each big fight of his life has inspired a new chapter of
Consider by many to be the greatest fighter of all time,
Muhammad Ali first found fame when winning the Olympic gold medal
at the 1960 games under his original name Cassius Clay.
He became world heavyweight champion four years later when he
defeated the heavily favoured Sonny Liston and soon after changed
his name when he converted to Islam.
Previous winners of the Liberty Medal include U2 front man Bono,
Nelson Mandela and former US president Jimmy Carter.