WASHINGTON (January 18, 2017) – In recognition of Muhammad Ali’s 75th birthday and in honor of his contributions to our nation, Representatives John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Dave Schweikert (R-AZ) have introduced H.R. 579, the Muhammad Ali Commemorative Coin Act, legislation that would direct the U.S. Treasury to mint a limited number of commemorative coins to honor the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali, born this week in 1942.
The athlete and humanitarian, who passed away in June of last year, transcended the sport of boxing and became an ambassador of peace, equality, religious tolerance, and freedom. Throughout his career, his athletic legacy became intertwined his advocacy for justice and countless philanthropic efforts.
“No human being embodies the word ‘champion’ like Muhammad Ali,” said Yarmuth. “He shook up the world in and out of the ring, reminding us of the power of our individual voices in doing what’s right and advocating for others in need. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to honor my dear friend and hero, Louisville’s own, and to help ensure that his life’s work of promoting peace and justice will continue for generations to come.”
Yarmuth and Schweikert hope the commemorative coins will serve as a reminder that embodying the ideals of America, no matter one’s background or faith, will continue to be the foundation upon which our nation is built.
“I’m proud of the chance to introduce a small commemoration for a man who is not just a great sports hero, but one of principal who fought bravely against poverty and injustice,” said Schweikert. “I can’t say it more eloquently than Former President Bush said while awarding Muhammad Ali the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he was, “an iconic and historic figure who thrilled, entertained, influenced and inspired millions. Americans will always be proud to have been in his corner and called him one of our own.”
Revenue generated from the purchase of the coins—after the Mint recoups the full costs—would go to several institutions working to preserve and promote Ali’s legacy, including the Muhammad Ali Center, the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville, and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center (MAPC) and Movement Disorder Clinic.
Text of the legislation can be found here.
The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the six core principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. Its newest initiative, Generation Ali, fosters a new generation of leaders to contribute positively to their communities and to change the world for the better. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit www.alicenter.org
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