In the tributes following Muhammad Ali's death on June 3, we're reminded that this man was The Greatest for people around the world. For those of us in Louisville, it has been a special privilege to grow up and grow old along with him, in his own hometown.
It was the mid-1970s and Muhammad Ali was my new hero. To me, a grade-schooler, he was larger than life and yet so down-to-earth. My parents were in his inner circle, which gave me magical memories and personal insights on greatness.
Long live "The People's Champion."
I wish I had met him. I wish I had known him. But I did have two brief encounters with him that helped cement my love for what he stood for.
The hero's body will be returned to his hometown.
As the world mourns the death of Muhammad Ali, we might want to remember that it wasn't always safe even to like him. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Ali was arguably the most polarizing figures in sports. In fact, he was one of the most polarizing figures in America.