Arguably the one of the most recognized public figures in the world, as well as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, Muhammad Ali was the three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, with 56 wins - including 37 knockouts - to his name, including three historic matches against Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and George Foreman. Ali was also a leading social and political figure in the 1960s and 1970s who nearly lost his boxing career due to his opposition to the Vietnam War for religious reasons. His extraordinary physicality and personality, which combined a gift for poetic boasts with a deeply thoughtful and philosophical nature, captured the public's attention like no athlete before or since, and his deeds both in and out of the ring inspired millions. Though physical ailments slowed Ali after his retirement in 1980, he remained a formidable proponent for humanitarian causes, including peace missions for the United Nations in the Middle East. Ali's life and career, which was told and retold in countless films, books and other media, retained its ability to move and amaze for decades, and elevated him from sports icon to living legend.