“Ali came from one of our favorite people- and one of the world’s too- Muhammad Ali, who has the heart and spirit of a child. I’d known Ali for years and had even been lucky enough to see him fight once in a match with Larry Holmes, which Ali lost, and I always felt it was my fault because we sang the national anthem that night and I was hoping it would bring him luck.
The great fighter lived in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we often visited him. Or I should say, our children took us to visit him. He’d spend hours entertaining us with his elaborate magic shows. He’d entertain us with tapes of his old fights, giving us his running commentary until he’d get tired and just curl up in the middle of the floor and go to sleep. We didn’t know it then, but he was already exhibiting the early symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, which would slow his body, but not his agile mind, considerably over the years.” -From, “Between Each Line of Pain and Glory” By: Gladys Knight