Three days with 'The Greatest'

    Story highlights

    • Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1970
    • Lyon remembers Ali being very gracious with everyday people who approached him
    Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2014.

    (CNN)More than 50 years ago, the man we now know as Muhammad Ali "shook up the world," as he said in 1964, knocking out Sonny Liston to become one of the youngest heavyweight boxing champions of all time.

    It was shortly after winning the title that the 22-year-old, in March 1964, officially changed his name from Cassius Clay.
      Ali's title reign was cut short, however, when he was stripped of his belts in 1967 for refusing induction into the U.S. armed forces. The boxer was fiercely opposed to the Vietnam War.
        "He walked out of his boxing career and he said, I'm not going to do it," photographer Danny Lyon remembered. "I'm not going to be the greatest fighter in the world and all these millions of dollars involved, because I have principles. And one of them is I'm not going to go kill some Asians because you guys are asking me to.
        "It was an amazing moment, and they really punished him."