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Muhammad Ali visits Lexington, 1995

Posted on October 15, 2014 | in Uncategorized | by
Saida Grundy, 13, got a hug from Muhammad Ali after she presented him with a sculpture by Lexington artist LaVon Williams during Ali's visit to Lexington's Dunbar Community Center on Saturday February 18, 1995. During a daylong visit to the city, Ali, a Louisville native, mingled with the public in the morning, then attended a University of Kentucky basketball game and a reception in his honor afterward. He posed for pictures, signed autographs and playfully shadowboxed with kids. The visit, part of African-American History Month, also was intended to promote the play "Ali" the next weekend at the Lexington Opera House. Ali, then 53, did not speak much during his 2 1/2-hour morning visit with about 300 at Dunbar Community Center. He suffers from Parkinson's disease, and talking is difficult for him. But his actions said plenty to the crowd. He cuddled and kissed babies, embraced his fans and signed everything from scraps of paper to boxing gloves to a Muhammad Ali pinball machine. By the time he left, he had a smear of pink lipstick on his left cheek and dozens of small boys clutching at his coattails. Photo by David Perry | Staff

Saida Grundy, 13, got a hug from Muhammad Ali after she presented him with a sculpture by Lexington artist LaVon Williams during Ali’s visit to Lexington’s Dunbar Community Center on Feb. 18, 1995. During a daylong visit to the city, Ali, a Louisville native, mingled with the public in the morning, then attended a University of Kentucky basketball game and a reception in his honor afterward. He posed for pictures, signed autographs and playfully shadowboxed with kids. The visit, part of African-American History Month, was intended to promote the play Ali the next weekend at the Lexington Opera House. Ali, then 53, did not speak much during his 2 1/2-hour morning visit with about 300 at Dunbar Community Center. He suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and talking is difficult for him. But he cuddled and kissed babies, embraced his fans and signed scraps of paper, boxing gloves and a Muhammad Ali pinball machine. By the time he left, he had a smear of pink lipstick on his left cheek and dozens of small boys clutching at his coattails. Photo by David Perry | Staff

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