“A Total Eclipse Of The Sonny”

One of the half-dozen most famous Americans of the twentieth century steps into full daylight

Dressed like mod young cornermen, the Beatles arrived at Miami’s Fifth Street Gym in February 1964 for a publicity meeting with a boxer whose euphonious name meant little to them. Cassius Marcellus Clay was freshly turned 22 years old and (as a 7-to-1 betting underdog) showed a certain presumption in challenging for Sonny Liston’s heavyweight title; on this afternoon he kept the world’s greatest pop band waiting for 15 minutes.Read more »

The Rage Of The Aged Lion

Alone in his empty mansion, the venerable Cassius Clay took unto himself a scandalously youthful bride; when the posse came for him, they met more than their match

Cassius Marcellus Clay was one of the most colorful, pugnacious, and irrepressible sons of that most colorful, pugnacious, and irrepressible state, the Kentucky of old-time blue-grass tradition. Son of a pioneer Indian fighter and frontier soldier, General Green Clay, and cousin of the great Henry Clay, he was born in 1810 and he lived until 1903, surprising everyone (including himself) by dying peacefully in his bed.