From: The Honorable Andre Carson
Sent By:  andrea.martin@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 608
Date: 6/15/2016

Cosponsor H.R. 608 to Award the Congressional Gold Medal to Humanitarian Muhammad Ali 

Heavy-Weight Champion, Voice of Conscience and National Hero

 

Current Cosponsors: Beatty, S Bishop, Butterfield, Capuano, Clay, Cleaver, Cohen, Conyers, Edwards, Fattah, Fudge, A Hastings, Jackson Lee, E B Johnson, H Johnson, R Kelly, Larsen, Larson, J Lewis, Lieu, Loebsack, McCollum, Meeks, Norton, Plaskett, Rangel, Richmond, Rush, T Ryan, Van Hollen, Veasy, Waters, Wilson, Yarmuth

 

Dear Colleague,

 

Please join me in honoring Muhammad Ali, a humanitarian, heavy-weight champion, voice of conscience and national hero, by awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal.

 

The Smithsonian’s “History of America in 101 Objects” devoted a chapter on the important role Ali played in helping our nation grow past the legacy of Jim Crow and segregation in sports, and to march into a new era of Civil Rights.  We should recognize Ali as an American civil rights activist and sports legend for his contributions to the United States and the world by bestowing the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Over the course of his illustrious career, Muhammad Ali produced some of our nation’s most lasting sports memories.  From winning a Gold Medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, to lighting the Olympic torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics, his influence as an athlete and a humanitarian has spanned over fifty years.

 

Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the 1980s, Ali devoted his life to charitable organizations.  Ali and his wife, Lonnie, were the founding directors of the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and Movement Disorders Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona and they helped raise over $50 million for Parkinson’s research.  In addition to helping families cope with illness, Ali led efforts to provide meals for the hungry and helped countless organizations such as the Make-A-Wish-Foundation and the Special Olympics.

 

Muhammad Ali’s humanitarian efforts went beyond his charitable activities in the United States.  In 1990 Muhammad Ali traveled to the Middle East to seek the release of American and British hostages that were being held as human shields in the first Gulf War.  After his intervention, 15 hostages were freed.  Ali’s devotion to diplomatic causes and racial harmony, earned him many accolades, including being chosen as a “U.N. Messenger of Peace” in 1998 and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 from President George W. Bush.

 

Through his unyielding dedication to his sport and to struggling populations around the world, Muhammad Ali serves as an example of service and self-sacrifice for all generations.  The Congressional Gold Medal is a fitting commemoration of his life and work, for which he is deservingly known as “the Greatest”.  Please join me in recognizing one of our nation’s most lasting and influential figures. To cosponsor H.R. 608, please contact Andrea Martin at 5-4011 or andrea.martin@mail.house.gov.