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July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Muhammad Ali visits East St. Louis

For this TBT we found “The Greatest,” the man who “floats like a butterfly” kissing babies like a politician. The BND archives yielded photos of Muhammad Ali on Oct. 10, 1983, visiting East St. Louis.

Fire up the Wayback machine, Sherman! It’s Throwback Thursday.

For this TBT we found “The Greatest,” the man who “floats like a butterfly” kissing babies like a politician. The BND archives yielded photos of Muhammad Ali on Oct. 10, 1983, visiting East St. Louis.

Ali was retired from boxing when he visited East St. Louis to promote a book, “Prayer and Al-Islam,” by American Muslim leader Iman Waritthuddin Muhammad. He was here two years after he lost his final fight in Nassau, a beating that was suspected to be a significant factor in the Parkinson’s disease diagnosis that came a year after his visit.

Ali drew a crowd along Collinsville Avenue in East St. Louis, signing autographs and kissing little Erin DeBoe, 2, of Belleville.

BND photographer Bill DeMestri captured the moment.

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