ellman ali 060121SPRINGFIELD – A resolution sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) which establishes January 17, 2022 as Muhammad Ali Day in the state of Illinois passed the Senate on Monday.

“State commemorative holidays are an opportunity to recognize people who provided an example of what it means to be the best we can be,” Ellman said. “Muhammad Ali deserves this recognition for his achievements, hard-working and courageous, both in and out of the ring.”


As a professional boxer, Ali won the Olympic Gold Medal and the heavy weight title three times. In his 21 year professional career, he won 56 matches, earning him the title “America’s Champ.”


Outside of the ring, Muhammad Ali was committed to uniting the United States and sought to have deliberate conversations with those holding opposing views. As a philanthropist, he assisted at local soup kitchens and hospitals, worked with the Special Olympics and the Make a Wish Foundation and helped people around the world who were battling hunger.

“Ali was known for his bravado in the ring, but for his lifelong humanitarian efforts, he served quietly,” Ellman said. “He really did float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

Despite living with Parkinson’s disease, which impaired his motor skills and speech later in life, Muhammad Ali continued to work as a global humanitarian and ambassador of goodwill, and brought attention to Parkinson’s disease research through his vocal support. As a devoted American Muslim, he held to his mantra that “Islam means peace” and found courage in his faith to stand up against injustices worldwide.

Senate Resolution 92 passed the senate on Monday and January 17, 2022 will be officially recognized as Muhammad Ali Day.