Skooter reporting 09/13/12
Mohammad Ali, the retired boxing great will be in Philadelphia to be awarded the Liberty Medal, recognizing his longtime role as a fighter outside the ring for humanitarian causes, civil rights and religious freedom.
On Thursday, the Liberty Medal will be presented during a ceremony at the National Constitution Center by the champ's daughter, who is also a boxer, and two U.S. Olympic athletes. A $100,000 cash prize will go along with the award.
Former President Bill Clinton, the center’s chairman was quoted in a statement as saying, "Ali embodies the spirit of the Liberty Medal by embracing the ideals of the Constitution — freedom, self-governance, equality and empowerment — and helping to spread them across the globe.”
Ali has traveled lengthily on international charitable missions and dedicated his time to philanthropy and social causes, since hanging up his gloves in 1981. Lonnie, his wife is scheduled to speak at the ceremony on his behalf at the ceremony.
Other attendees at the ceremony are Joe Louis Barrow II, son of boxer Joe Louis; actor, who played as Ali in an ABC-TV biography; singer , who will perform; and former basketball star , a Constitution Center board member and Congo native. Laila Ali’s daughter, Claressa Shields, 17, the first woman to win Olympic gold in boxing, London Game 2012 and Susan Francia, the two time rowing gold medalist, together they will bestowed the Liberty Medal.
Ali was born Cassius Clay but changed his name after converting to Islam in the 1960s. Other awards received by Ali was the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor in 2005.
The National Constitution Center, which was inaugurated in 2003, is devoted to increasing public understanding of the Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. The Liberty Medal is awarded annually to an individual who shows courage and conviction while striving to secure freedom for people around the world.
Previous awardees include, rock singer and human rights activist, former President of South Africa, and former President Jimmy Carter.