After being forced to close its doors three years ago, the Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Project has announced it will be holding a fundraiser to reopen and pay tribute to one of the world’s most significant sports and cultural icons.
Honorary Board Member and Ali’s older brother, Rahman shared, “This museum, my childhood home, is meant to inspire all of us to reach what my brother Muhammad fought so hard for — opportunity for all. I’m confident we can hit the first million in record time and kick off this very important project!”
Located at 3302 Grand Ave., Lexington, KY, Ali was five years old when his family purchased the house in 1947, and they lived there until 1961. This was around the same time Ali started his historic conversion to Islam and one year after he won the gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing division of the 1960 Summer Olympics.
Albeit, while many historians widely consider Ali as one of the best boxers of all time, some of his greatest contributions occurred outside of the boxing ring. These include his refusal to be drafted for the Vietnam War on religious and ethical principles (for which he was stripped of his boxing title and sentenced to five years in prison) and using his fame to push forward research towards a cure for the degenerative disorder known as Parkinson‘s disease.
The home was later bought in 2015 by longtime Ali fan and lawyer George Bochetto and by real estate developer Jared Weiss. Afterward, it was modified and opened as a museum in February 2016, a few months prior to Ali’s death. However, it had to cease operations the next year due to financial difficulties.
The museum hopes to kick off its reopening with an initial $1 million and eventually arrive at its target goal of $5.8 million with the fundraiser. The organizers told TMZ Sports, “Donations will also go toward expanding The Museum footprint, improving the grounds, creating community programs as well as an endowment. With a commitment to the community, sponsorships and scholarships dedicated specifically to the youth of the Louisville community will also be a priority of the organization and Restoration Campaign.”
For more information on this project and to donate, visit the museum’s official site, www.alichildhoodmuseum.com,