Before Muhammad Ali was Muhammad Ali, he was Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.
His father was named after a former slave holder turned abolitionist by the same name. Cassius Marcellus Clay was born in Madison County, Kentucky October 19, 1810 (#libra♎ ). His father, who was also Cassius Marcellus Clay, was a big slave owner and passed his slaves down to his son as part of an inheritance. The son ultimately freed the slaves, allowed them to stay and paid them wages. He became a prominent player in the abolition of slavery in the United States.