Muhammad Ali’s Visit to Northern

You’ve probably learned a lot about the life of Muhammad Ali since his death, but did you know that he once visited Northern?

In July of 1977, he fought in an exhibition fight against Jimmy Ellis, the former Heavyweight Champion, in the Hedgcock Fieldhouse. The fight raised money for a Muhammad Ali Scholarship Fund that would provide full rides to minority students for achievement in academics, the fine arts, and athletics.


During his time at Northern, he gave lectures to faculty and the public and climbed Sugarloaf.

The Archives has several items that might be of interest to those who want to know more about Ali’s visit to Northern. Our Photographic File has several folders relating to his visit. The Mining Journal, which is available on microfilm, ran several articles about him. Most interestingly, however, are four reel-to-reel recordings of radio broadcasts of his lecture, a press conference, and his fight with Jimmy Ellis.


We put together a page with photos and articles on our website for those who would like to learn more. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to convert the audio as our machine is currently broken.


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