NAACP honors Muhammad Ali

As always, the Greatest does it his way

During the Gulf War, he traveled to Iraq to secure the release of American hostages.

He has come to the aid of millions of the world’s hungry. Fight Night, his annual fund-raiser for Parkinson’s disease, raises much-needed money for research. In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Honor and opened the Muhammad Ali Center — an international educational center inspired by his own ideals.

“I have dreamed all my life of creating a place to share, teach and inspire people to be their best and pursue their dreams,” Ali says.

Tonight, Jennifer Hudson sings a musical tribute to the man who is often known simply as the Greatest.

“We thought the timing was appropriate,” says Vic Bulluck, executive producer of the Image Awards, which is giving Ali the President’s Award. “He was a conscientious objector during another unpopular war (Vietnam). He has always lived his life and stood by his beliefs and his causes. He not only is one of the most recognizable human beings on the face of the Earth, he also is one of the most recognizable Muslims on the face of the Earth — a Muslim who is beloved, we believe, by all Americans. All Americans should think about the way Muhammad Ali has lived his life.”