Muhammad Ali? Apocryphal?
Dear Quote Investigator: There is a statement attributed to Muhammad Ali about the natural changes in viewpoint an individual experiences during decades of growth and maturation. Ali stated that a person who does not change his or her perspective over a long period of time has wasted the years. Are you familiar with this statement?
Quote Investigator: In November 1974 the UPI wire service reported that Muhammad Ali spoke at a news conference in London for forty minutes non-stop. The promoter of Ali’s boxing tour feared that he might lose his voice, but Ali wished to continue, and he delivered a remark that matched the one specified by the questioner above. Boldface has been added to excerpts: 1
“Don’t you worry me,” said Ali, posing for the battery of TV and press cameras. “I can talk all night.”
He was finally cut short, but not before he had answered a question about his philosophy of life. “If a man looks at the world when he is 50 the same way he looked at it when he was 20 and it hasn’t changed, then be has wasted 30 years of his life,” he said.
Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1974 November 30, The News (The Port Arthur News), Ali wants both Joe, Foreman at same time (UPI news service), Quote Page 11, Column 3, Port Arthur, Texas. (Newspapers_com) ↩