Episodes & Viewing Guide
Round One: The Greatest
Boxer Cassius Clay rises up the amateur ranks to win gold at the 1960 Olympics. He turns professional, sharpening his boxing skills and honing his genius for self-promotion. In 1964, he upsets Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion..
Round Two: What’s My Name?
Cassius Clay publicly joins the Nation of Islam and takes the name Muhammad Ali. When he refuses induction into the Army, he is stripped of his title and forced into exile. After three years he returns to the ring, but he’s lost a step.
Round Three: The Rivalry
Muhammad Ali battles his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier, and the U.S. government, as he attempts to regain the heavyweight title. He first loses to and then defeats Frazier, but to become champion again, he will have to beat George Foreman.
Round Four: The Spell Remains
Muhammad Ali shocks the world by defeating George Foreman, winning back the heavyweight title and becoming the most famous man on earth. After retiring in 1981, he travels the world spreading his Islamic faith, and becomes a symbol of peace and hope.
Beats & Boxing: How Music Adds Power to Ken Burns’ ‘Muhammad Ali’
In Dunnington’s latest work, Muhammad Ali, directed by famed documentarians Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon, she made use of music of Ali’s era as well as tracks from hip hop producer and Meek Mill, Jay-Z, and 50 Cent collaborator Jahlil Beats to weave an immersive and propulsive soundscape.Read More
New Documentary Explores Life, Legend of Muhammad Ali
At an early age he identified himself as “The Greatest” and backed up his words inside and out of the boxing ring. Filmmaker Ken Burns joins “Black Voices” to discuss the sweeping new four-part documentary “Muhammad Ali.”Read More
Ken Burns Talks About His New Documentary ‘Muhammad Ali’
He was bigger than boxing and larger than life — a true icon of the 20th century. Filmmaker Ken Burns and Donald Lassere of the Chicago History Museum join us to discuss the sweeping new four-part documentary on the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali.Read More
Tracing Muhammad Ali's Memory in Chicago - A Photo Essay
Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville and attained global fame, but Chicago played an important role in the boxing legend’s life. Discover some of the locations that marked Ali's remarkable life during his time in Chicago.Read More
What Muhammad Ali Means To Me - A Personal Reflection
Muhammad Ali was the greatest; a symbol of a strong, unapologetically Black man; an example of how a person can grow and change. WTTW's Tim Russell reflects on his memories of Ali and the boxer's importance.Read More
Chicago’s Significance to the ‘Greatest of All Time’ - An Interview with Ali's Biographer Jonathan Eig
"Muhammad Ali lived here for some of the most important years of his career," says his biographer Jonathan Eig. "Chicago was really where he began to find a national stage and to realize that he could be special." Plus, he had his "racial awakening" here.Read More
Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon Take on Muhammad Ali
Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon take on "the greatest of all time" in their upcoming four-part documentary, examining the three-time heavyweight champion who was also a lightning rod for controversy around activism, pacifism, religion, and race.Read More
Jonathan Eig’s ‘Ali: A Life’ Portrays Complex, Flawed, But Humble Icon
There’s more to Muhammad Ali, both positive and negative, than many people know, and quite a bit of it is uncovered for the first time in Jonathan Eig's biography.Read More