Saturday, June 4, 2016


"I read the news today, oh boy." If you are of an age to know those words from John Lennon's "A Day in the Life", you are of an age to have had Muhammad Ali as an iconic part of your life. Most of us "read the news" this morning after hoping he would last one more round through the night. Larger than Life. Mourned in death. Farewell and Rest In Peace

Highly Recommended:
WHEN WE WERE KINGS, Academy Award winning documentary on "The Rumble in the Jungle" George Foreman fight. Appearances by Norman Mailer and George Plimpton. On DVD

THE FIGHT, Norman Mailer, (1975) the author's book on the Ali upset of Foreman. Hard to find a better match than Mailer's words with Ali's skills in the ring and larger than life image.

KING OF THE HILL, Norman Mailer,1971, but printed again as the first essay in Mailer's EXISTENTIAL ERRANDS, 1972. The author, this time, on the titanic first Ali-Frazier fight at Madison Square Garden: 

KING OF THE WORLD, (1998) David Remnick, easily the best book I've read on the Champ by the New Yorker editor/writer.

"..the punch he (Ali) let go in the fifteenth came in like a wrecking ball from outer space." (Mailer on Ali's miraculous, fight-winning round 15 Knock Out against Oscar Bonavena to set up the Ali-Frazier Fight)

Note to Readers: Returning to regular blog posts next week. Thank you.


  1. Published at facebook in the hours before Ali died: If in fact this is Ali's Final Fight, When He Goes It Means the End of the Sixties.

  2. Published after Ali's death at facebook: If you didn’t know who Muhammad Ali was in life, there’s no lack of effort by bright bulbs to tell us who he was in death.
    They would define Ali. What is truer is that Ali defined us.
    He is a flood of memories, pals collecting around the radio, straining to hear play-by-play. Each fight was a headline; and each a page in our lives.
    I met Ali twice. The first time was in the mid-1970’s, a speedy meet and greet at Wanamaker’s, the department store, in Philadelphia where I was News Director at WMMR. Ali was autographing copies of his book.
    The next time I met Ali I had been was assigned by NBC Radio to cover the Amnesty International concert at Giants Stadium in l986.
    Giants Stadium was a warren of tunnels. And it was down in the bowels that I ran into Ali. I needed an elevator. So did the Champ. Ali’s bodyguards didn’t want me in the car. But Ali shooed them away. Instead he waved me in. And kept the bodyguards out.
    Up we went.
    Ali did not speak.
    He was -- beautiful; Greek pantheon beautiful.
    He had these bright, shrewd eyes.
    Then the elevator stopped.
    I was stuck between floors with the Heavyweight Champ. Who didn’t talk.
    Ali did magic tricks. For an audience of one. Parlor games. For the ten minutes it took to reboot the elevator.
    Ali Boom Bye Yae.

    1. Bill, Thank you for sharing this moving memory of Ali. Excellent and eloquent. Leo