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Muhammad Ali's death

Muhammad Ali died in 1991

Muhammad Ali died in 2016

The Ali Effect?

2016 was a horrible year for losing famous celebrities, including Muhammad Ali. It was even more disturbing for those who were sure he'd already died years earlier, because they were experiencing the Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect.

This is similar to the Mandela, Fidel Castro etc situations with one difference - it seems the year 1991 plays some role in this, as in most of those who thought he was already dead were born after this year.

He had quite a high profile after this time too - he appeared at the 2012 Olympic Ceremony, etc.

His health problems with Parkinson's was also widely publicised, mainly because it was attributed to his stellar boxing career. Yet he still managed the odd public appearance right up to the end, just like Nelson Mandela did. How did those shocked by his death manage to miss every single one of them? 

Cassius Clay

Ali was born Cassius Clay in 1942, Kentucky, USA. He is now thought of as one of the greatest boxers of all time, but began from humble origins when he first started boxing at 12. His first gold medal was at age 18 in the 1960 Olympics, which is when he turned professional. The Vietnam war proved to cause problems for Ali, because by then he'd converted to Islam and refused to sign up. His medals were stripped, but after the war on returned on appeal.

His style was groundbreaking. At a time when boxers usually let their managers do the talking, he was the first to use the exaggerated "trash talk" of their opponents they way we take for granted today. He was also the first to recite the punctuated poetry some have likened to early hip-hop, and was a prolific world peace social activist.

Celebrity deaths are rich fodder for the Mandela Effect , after all that's how it got it's name. With Ali it's different, however, because even some of those following him were caught out when news of his 2016 death broke.