Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has been selected to receive the 2012 Liberty Medal for continuing his humanitarian work despite his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease.
According to newsone.com, the 70-year-old Ali will receive the medal in a ceremony on September 13 in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall.
Liberty Medal sponsors pointed to Ali’s continued advocacy for civil and religious freedom along with his ongoing philanthropy, humanitarian efforts and social activism.
“Ali embodies the spirits of the Liberty Medal by embracing the ideals of the Constitution – freedom, self-governance, equality and empowerment – and helping to spread them across the globe,” said the chairman of the National Constitution Center former President Bill Clinton.
Ali has been celebrated for his courage outside the ring as much as capturing the heavyweight crown. In 1967 while in the prime of his career Ali was stripped of the title for his refusal to be inducted into the military during the Vietnam War because of his religious beliefs. Ali was convicted of draft evasion and was not allowed to box again until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 1971.
Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, Ali devoted himself to traveling the world on humanitarian missions throughout the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia.
Previous recipients of the Liberty Medal include Bono, Nelson Mandela and Jimmy Carter.