Ishmael Reed’s The Complete Muhammad Ali Book Signing In Harlem
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Community leader Mr. Though Ali wasn't one to give Laila advice, she says she gleaned a lot from watching him succeed. Here are three lessons she learned from her dad. Though Muhammad Ali wasn't the reason Laila became a fighter, he demonstrated to her that it was imperative to go after what felt most natural.
Laila was originally a manicurist, but when she saw a women's boxing match on television for the first time, something clicked. I want to do that," Ali told Oprah. Laila also learned from her dad that everything you pursue — whether you have a passion for it or not — is going to be a challenge, so embrace it. He said, "What are you going to do if you get knocked down in the ring and the whole world is watching?
Despite his disapproval, Ali still attended most of his daughter's fights, and Laila retired undefeated in with a record and several of world champion titles of her own. Ali was born in to middle-class parents in Louisville, Kentucky, and even with his success, business wasn't really his thing, according to Laila.
So even though he wasn't a keen businessman, he did teach her one important thing about money: "It's not about how much money you have, it's thinking about how we can make this world a better place," she told CNBC last year.
In fact, Laila said being inspired by her father's philanthropy was his greatest gift to her. After his boxing career, Ali became heavily involved in public service traveling the world to help disadvantaged people and promote religious, racial and economic equality.
In , Ali, who battled Parkinson's disease, began working with Michael J. Fox who also has Parkinson's to raise awareness about the disease and to help fund research to find a cure.