"Ali's influence out of the ring was no less marked. Having appalled white America by converting to the Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Cassius X and then to Muhammad Ali, he later refused to be drafted into the army, telling reporters: 'Man, I ain't got no quarrel with them Vietcong.'
"In 1967, still unbeaten and with no obvious challenger in sight, Ali was stripped of his titles and for three-and-a-half years had to scrape a living making campus speeches and appearing on Broadway. He lost his best years as a fighter yet as the opposition to Vietnam war grew, so did Ali's popularity. By the mid 1970s he was the biggest sports star on the planet."
Sean Ingle in The Guardian reports the death of Muhammad Ali.