Skip to Main Content

Ali

Contributions by Jack Olsen

In June, 1963, on assignment fromSports Illustrated, peerless portrait photographerSteve Schapirotraveled to Louisville, Kentucky to spend some time with the young Olympic champion boxer Cassius Clay, and accompany him on a road trip to New York City. At 21, Clay was yet to adopt the mantel ofMuhammad Ali,but his boastful persona, intelligence, black pride, and sharp tongue were already fully formed.

Over the course of their five days together, Schapiro-a master at developing trust and capturing unguarded intimacy on film-revealed both sides of the young Ali: the one side posing and preening for the camera, ever conscious of his image; the other, unguarded and unselfconscious, in candid images of the young fighter at home with his family and immersed in his community and neighborhood.

Alicollects the best of Schapiro's images of the late fighter; many in print for the first time ever. They offer a glimpse of a star on the rise. It is an indelible portrait of the early life of one of the most talented, graceful, controversial, athletic, and influential American figures of the 20th century.

Steve Schapiro is a distinguished journalistic photographer whose pictures have graced the covers of Vanity Fair, Time, Sports Illustrated, Life, Look, Paris Match, and People, and are found in many museum collections. He has published seven books of his work, American Edge, Schapiro's Heroes, The Godfather Family Album, Taxi Driver, Then and Now, Bliss, and Bowie.

Included in Fortune's The Best Gifts for Everyone On Your List in 2018

Included in Buzzfeed News 'best photography books from 2018: "25 Photography Books That Will Change Your View Of The World"

"Reveals a new side to the heavyweight champion of the world."

– Another Man

 Included inThe Stategist's "Year's Most Giftable Coffee-Table Books (So Far)"

As Seen In: Buzzfeed News, PDN Photo of the Day, Rolling Stone

More books from this author: Steve Schapiro