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Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay Jr., was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, KY. From an early age, Ali realized there was a great inequality toward the treatment of African-American’s in America.
Ali’s father, Cassius Clay Sr., a sign painter and local artisan, invited his children to help him at work: teaching them to draw and paint from an early age. Odessa Clay, Ali’s mother, was a devout Baptist who took Ali and his younger brother, Rahaman, then Rudolph, to church every Sunday. Odessa instilled a moral identity in her children, and has been credited as the inspiration for Ali’s later humanitarian efforts.
In the years to come, Ali would go on to win six Kentucky Golden Gloves Championships, an Olympic Gold Medal, and turned professional with the help of the Louisville Sponsoring Group. Throughout his life, Ali continued to return to Louisville, to inspire its citizens and to reminisce outside of his childhood home, 3302 Grand Ave.
Dating back to 1942, the 3302 Grand Ave. house is a simple, rectangular shaped one-story, two bedroom property with an ante-room, kitchen, and a single full bathroom. Later in time, a back recreation room was added onto the house by Cassius Sr. In all, the house is approximately 1,200 square feet.
The Clay family purchased the house on March 28, 1947. Cassius Jr. was five years old at the time. The entire Clay family resided at the 3302 Grand Ave. house full-time from 1947 through 1961.
Throughout the years the house had fallen on poor conditions. When the founders purchased the home, they could feel the essence of Muhammad Ali as they walked through. During the restoration process and as part of the repairs, Muhammad Ali’s brother, Rahman, walked the team through every aspect of how the house was when they were growing up. He shared stories and memories that breathed life into the home. With Rahman’s guidance, they were able to recapture every minute detail from the wallpaper to the picture frames during the repairs. The bedroom belonging to Muhammad and Rahman Ali also underwent re-construction and was returned to its original condition. A piece of history has been restored to it’s original look and feel, inside you can experience the world that helped shape Muhammad Ali.