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(L-R) Likely Naomi Pollard; John and Amanda Pollard; Luther Pollard. Images: Courtesy Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society

The Extraordinary Achievements of the First Black Residents of Rogers Park

Daniel Hautzinger

The Pollard family contained the NFL's first Black head coach, the first Black licensend nurse in Illinois, a producer of silent films, the first Black woman graduate of Northwestern University, a Civil War veteran, and the winner of an Olympic medal.
Rahmaan Statik in front of his Muhammad Ali mural. Photo: WTTW/Liz Markel

A Chicago Artist Honors Muhammad Ali

Daniel Hautzinger

“Muhammad Ali is the athlete equivalent of an artist," says the visual artist Rahmaan Statik, a South Side native and former Nation of Islam member who has painted a mural of Ali at 2847 S. Kedzie Avenue in Little Village. 
Muhammad Ali sitting in the back of a convertible waving to a crowd during the Bud Billiken Day Parade at 39th Street and Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, Illinois on August 9, 1969. Photo: ST-40001287-0032, Chicago Sun-Times collection, Chicago History Museum

Chicago, Chicago, That Boxing Town

Daniel Hautzinger

Three of the most famous world heavyweight champions—most famous athletes in general—have lived in and had some of their most formative experiences and bouts in Chicago, a city that has also always been a stepping stone for amateur boxers.
Muhammad Ali enjoying a spontaneous encounter with his fans in Detroit, MI. Circa 1977. Photo: Courtesy Michael Gaffney

What Muhammad Ali Means To Me - A Personal Reflection

Tim Russell

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. 
After a shocking loss of the Heavyweight title to Leon Spinks, with swollen eyes Muhammad Ali faces the press conference after the fight. Las Vegas, NV. February 15, 1978. Photo: Courtesy Michael Gaffney

Chicago's Significance to the "Greatest of All Time" - An Interview with Ali's Biographer Jonathan Eig

Daniel Hautzinger

"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. 
Photo of US Olympic team sprinters (from left) Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe and Frank Wykoff on the deck of the S.S. Manhattan before they sailed for Germany to compete in the 1936 Olympics. Photo: Public domain/Wikimedia Commons

The Olympic Athlete Who Became a Powerful Chicago Politician

Daniel Hautzinger

Ralph Metcalfe was once known as the "world's fastest human" and raced alongside Jesse Owens at the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics before becoming an influential Chicago politician who eventually bucked Richard J. Daley and the powerful Democratic machine.
The August 27, 1959 opening day ceremonies of the 1959 Pan-American Games in Soldier Field. Photo: Chicago History Museum

When Chicago Hosted Olympics-Style Games — And Why They Have Been Forgotten

Daniel Hautzinger

Chicago celebrates its World's Fairs on the city flag, and the failed bid for the 2016 Olympics is well-remembered. Why have the 1959 Pan-American Games hosted by the city been forgotten?
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