AP OriginalsThe Vault

The Vault: Muhammad Ali Handwritten & Signed Letter

It’s been a little bit since I opened up the AP collection vault to share an item and today is a very special one. What we are looking at is an extremely rare & one of a kind piece – one of the rarest items in the entire AP collection vault. This is a handwritten & autographed letter by the one and only Muhammad Ali!

In case you are not familiar, Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer, activist, entertainer and philanthropist. Nicknamed The Greatest, he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time. Along being the greatest boxer of all time, Ali also converted to Islam and became a Muslim in the 60’s and would try to spread the word of Islam through his fame and notoriety.

The letter was penned by Ali in April of 1985. He wrote this letter in reply to a member of his management team, on the back of a letter that he recieved. The letter is made out: To Dave, Love Muhammad Ali.  April 24th, 1985. Below this he wrote the quote:

Service to others is the rent we pay for our room in the hereafter 🙂 .

Ali always had a way with his words, using religion and peace as a message to spread love & unity among people from all backgrounds. There are a few elements that make this piece extra special – one being the date of autograph. This is a earlier example of his signature which is becoming increasingly hard to find – anything in the mid 80’s and below are becoming scarce. The fact that it is dated (1985) and includes a handwritten note along with the autograph make it quite rare and one of a kind. The writing and autograph have been verified by PSA/DNA the leaders in authentication of items like this.

Unfortunately, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the mid to later 80’s. Ali was hospitalized in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 2, 2016, with a respiratory illness. Though his condition was initially described as fair, it worsened, and he died the following day at the age of 74. Ali will always be remembered for his unique in ring style but perhaps even more so for his philanthropic work and devotion to brining peace to the world and speaking out against racial and religious intolerance.  He was a man of the people, a true legend, and deserves the title given to him of “The Greatest.”

Here is a video highlighting some of his best knockouts, I suggest you give it a watch as a reminder of how great a fighter he was.

Along with fighting Ali revolutionized the art of trash talking and psyching out his opponents with his fierce yet elegant words. Here is a video showing some his greatest quotes – also a fantastic watch.

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