Born In Louisville

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on Jan. 17, 1942, to Odessa and Cassius Marcellus Sr. at the old General Hospital (530 S. Jackson St.). Many places that informed his worldview still can be found in the city today.

What: Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born on Jan. 17, 1942, to Odessa and Cassius Marcellus Sr.

Where: The old General Hospital, 530 S. Jackson St.

Note: The old General Hospital is now part of the University Hospital complex.


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What: Muhammad Ali Childhood Home Museum

Where: 3302 Grand Ave.

Note: Cassius Clay spent his early years in this unassuming pink house in Louisville’s Parkland neighborhood. Its current owners, George Bochetto (from Pennsylvania) and Jared Weiss (Las Vegas), have invested more than $300,000 to restore the once-abandoned home and create this museum, which also features the 15-minute documentary “Cassius Ali,” written and directed by George’s son Evan. Opened in May 2016.

For more information:


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What: Centennial Olivet Baptist Church

Where: 1541 W. Oak St.

Note: The young Cassius Clay attended church services here with his mother, Odessa, before converting to Islam in 1964.

For more information:  502.587.6213


What: Virginia Avenue School

Where: 3628 Virginia Ave.

Note: Cassius Clay attended elementary school here. It is now the location of West End School, a free private boarding school for boys.


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What: Central High School

Where: 1130 W. Chestnut St.

Note: Cassius Clay graduated from the historic Central High School in 1960. Until Louisville schools were desegregated in 1956, Central was the city’s only public high school for African Americans.

For more information:, 502.485.8226

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