Today is the late Muhammad Ali’s birthday, so we are featuring his gravesite, which my mom visited during a trip to Louisville, Kentucky in 2016, shortly after his death.
Nicknamed “The Greatest,” the heavyweight boxing champ was a leading civil rights activist, philanthropist and humanitarian, who chose his hometown as his final resting place.
One inscription on his grave marker reads, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room in heaven.”
The other, more poignant one, says, “He took a few cups of love, He took one tablespoon of patience, One teaspoon of generosity, One pint of kindness. He took one quart of laughter, One pinch of concern. And then he mixed willingness with happiness. He added lots of faith and stirred it up well. Then he spread it over the span of a lifetime and he served to each person he met.”
He is buried on his side, facing east, in accordance with his Muslim faith, in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery. Two granite benches are on site to sit and reflect on the legendary man.
Louisville, where my family lived for seven years before moving to Massachusetts, is also home to the Muhammad Ali Center, a museum dedicated to his legacy. It is centered around six core beliefs: Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality.
We are big Ali fans in this house. When my parents got married in 2005, they bought a limited edition photograph of him from an art gallery in Hawaii as a wedding gift to themselves.
Happy heavenly birthday to The Greatest.