There will be very few people that will ever have as great an impact as Muhammad Ali.
Loud and proud, Ali was a polarizing figure during his notable career, his personality drawing attention his way of both good and bad varieties. He never let himself appear soft or gentle until after he put down the gloves, allowing his bravado to make for fascinating earmarks in both boxing and media history.
Despite this level of persona, it is refreshing to find out just personable and sweet The Greatest really was behind the scenes. BBC recently caught up with Stephanie Meade, a Seattle, Washington woman who first wrote Ali when she was just 10 years old. Surprising everyone, the boxer actually wrote back, and continued to do so for the next 30 years.
In her own words, she had a different childhood: “My father became disabled when I was four, and so, when most children were out playing, I was sitting at home watching TV with him.” Part of her viewings with her father was tapes of Muhammad Ali’s fights, which caused her to become a serious fan in just a short amount of time.
The full story is quite amazing, as Meade would even get a chance to meet the champ in person. If you’re looking for a feel good story or another reason to mourn the loss of Muhammad Ali, head over to BBC and read the whole thing. Rest in peace, champ.
Photo (cover): BBC/Stephanie Meade
Photo (middle): CNN