The Reintroduction of Legislation to Award the Congressional Gold Medal to Humanitarian and Sporting Legend Muhammad Aliby Representative Andre Carson
Posted on 2015-01-28
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Mr. CARSON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to reintroduce
legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Muhammad Ali in
recognition of his contributions to our nation. I believe it is long
past time to recognize and honor an American civil rights activist and
sporting legend with Congress' highest honor. Over the course of his
illustrious career, Muhammad Ali has produced some of our nation's most
lasting sports memories. From winning a Gold Medal at the 1960 Summer
Olympics to lighting the Olympic torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics, his
influence as an athlete and a humanitarian has spanned over fifty
Despite having been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the 1980s, Ali has devoted his life to charitable organizations. Ali and his wife, Lonnie, are founding directors of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and Movement Disorders Clinic in Phoenix, AZ and have helped raise over $50 million for Parkinson's research. In addition to helping families cope with illness, Ali has led efforts to provide meals for the hungry and has helped countless organizations such as the Make-A-Wish-Foundation and the Special Olympics.
Muhammad Ali's humanitarian efforts go beyond his charitable activities in the United [[Page E131]] States. In 1990 Muhammad Ali travelled to the Middle East to seek the release of American and British hostages that were being held as human shields in the first Gulf War. After his intervention, 15 hostages were freed. Thanks to his devotion to diplomatic causes and racial harmony, Ali is the recipient of many accolades, including being chosen as a ``U.N. Messenger of Peace'' in 1998 and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
Through his unyielding dedication to his sport and to struggling populations around the world, Muhammad Ali serves as an example of service and self-sacrifice for generations of Americans. The Congressional Gold Medal is a fitting commemoration of his life and work, for which he is deservingly known as ``the Greatest.'' Mr. Speaker, I hope my colleagues will join me in recognizing one of our nation's most lasting and influential figures by signing on to this important legislation.