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This month we mourn the passing of a heavyweight champ in every sense of the word, Muhammad Ali.  Fighter.  Activist.  

And library attendee right here in Evanston, almost exactly 41 years ago. You didn’t know? Well, as it turns out, in 1975 Muhammad Ali visited the Thee Barber Shoppe at 1727 Simpson. When the folks working in the nearby (and now sadly long gone) West Branch of the Library, they invited him to visit there as well. Patrons were, needless to say, a little bit excited. Said Ali “This is a very nice library and quite clean and attractive.”  

In memory of the greatest of them all, check out some 2016 titles available at the library about the Champ, his life, and his times.

Running With the Champ: My Forty-Year Friendship with Mohammad Ali by Tim Shanahan with Chuck Crisapulli. A personal tribute to the remarkable friendship between Tim Shanahan and Muhammad Ali, including dozens of never-before-told stories about Ali, his family, his entourage, and various celebrities along the way – as well as never-before-published personal photos.

Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith. In this provocative history, sports historians Roberts and Smith examine the relationship between two central figures of the 1960s: Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali.

The Phantom Punch: The Story Behind Boxing’s Most Controversial Bout by Rob Sneddon.
Journalist and sports historian Rob Sneddon brings new perspective to the world of boxing in the 1960s, to the managers, teamsters, promoters, boxers, and the fight itself – a fight that remains both a key milestone in the history of sports in Maine  and the most controversial bout in boxing history.

Betsy Bird

Betsy Bird is the Collection Development Manager of Evanston Public Library. She has been writing for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.