Rare Slides: The Greatest

• New photos of Muhammad Ali unearthed, prompted by HBO documentary

Thrill to The Champ wolfing down his salad while I sit by, snapping photos

The Tale of the Table

I can’t say enough about the HBO documentary, Ali & Cavett – The Tale of the Tapes. In the Sixties, The Champ and the talk show host became friends, an odd couple who would have had a blockbuster “reality” TV show if such a thing had been thought of in 1968. If you lived through the era, you’ll enjoy the nostalgia trip this doc triggers. If you’re of a newer generation, there’s a ton to learn here about race relations in America over the past 60 years.

Cavett, the thinking person’s talk show host, interviewed the most famous person in the world over a dozen times. I interviewed him a mere two times, maybe 20 minutes total talk, tops. I told the story of those encounters in The Greatest.

HBO’s documentary got me motivated to go back and dig deeper into my scattered and unorganized archives, a.k.a. “boxes,” and look for the rest of the pictures I took at that 1975 press luncheon in Cleveland. I found them.

The Greatest of All Time

These are converted 135 millimeter Kodak Extachrome color slides. While I waited to do my brief, taped radio interview with him, Ali ate a salad – and didn’t mind my snapping away.

Did that come with G.O.A.T. cheese?
The “Louisville Lip” – ready to talk.


That time I met another of my idols

2 thoughts on “Rare Slides: The Greatest

  1. Sometimes misguided, Ali fought an incredible fight to counter racism and to expose its evils. If my memory serves me correctly, our fraternity had a black pledge in 1969-1970 and we crossed one of those racist lines that was well before it’s time in Ohio.

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