Lot 958: Ali's personal day planner from 1968, the cover reading, "National Diary for 1968," over 360 pages, 8 x 12.75, containing writing on more than half the pages with over 1800 words in Ali's hand. Many also have entries in other hands, possibly by his wife Belinda Ali. Many of the entries involve events, schedules, and financial transactions. Ali writes his own name in two instances, once on the title page, "Book belongs to Muhammad Ali," and once on March 13, "Book written on Muhammad Ali, $6.00." A few of Ali's entries refer to his fellow boxers (spelling and grammar retained): February 26, "Paid $1200. for Paris France newspaper Story on fight with Joe Frazier & Buster Mathes"; September 15, "Esard Charles is dieing. have something for him, try to be there, I have OKed it"; October 27, "E. Charles...Dinner in his honor. try to be there. in Chicago place not known yet"; October 10, "$500 for watching the Jack Johnson Play in NY. NY. Payed by Time Magazine." Based on the first item here, Ali must have contributed some 'insider' analysis to a Paris newspaper concerning the upcoming World Heavyweight Championship bout between Buster Mathis and Joe Frazier-Ali's claim to the title had been vacated the previous year after he refused to enter the draft for the Vietnam War. Later on in 1968, the great boxer and heavyweight champ of the past Ezzard Charles was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. A benefit dinner was held for Charles on November 13, which Ali attended along with six other World Champions, including Rocky Marciano, Henry Armstrong, and Archie Moore.
Hints of Ali's activism are also found throughout, notably in the days following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968. Ali was scheduled for five speaking engagements at colleges between April 5-12, all of which he struck through and wrote "Canseled." He refers to MLK's younger brother on May 6, writing, "Call A.D. King and Check on the Lou Ky Speech." On July 13, he writes of his involvement with Jesse Jackson, the head of the SCLC Chicago chapter of the Operation Bread Basket economic initiative, "Orp Bread Basket in Chi with Rev Jackson on south park 46 Streets at 9 oclock ." The theme of black activism past and present continues on August 17, when Ali notes "Marcus Garvey's Birthday," and refers to Elijah Muhammad, "Call Wayne Watson Director Black students of Northwestern University Evanston Ill he wants me to teach to the people about the Messenger." He also mentions several religious events throughout.
He returns to sports in November, writing on the 4th, "be in NY for story in Sport Ill," and on the 7th, "payed from Sports Illustrated $5000.00 tax due." In overall very good to fine condition, with many pages detached or loose, three sheets missing, and edgewear to covers. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA. Overall, this offers a unique and insightful look into Ali's life during an important period.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs & Artifacts
Friday, 23rd October 2015
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