Is this a true picture of Sam Cooke and Muhammad Ali in their youth?


Vintage photos show boxer Muhammad Ali and singer Sam Cook together in the early 1960s.




The photo in question appears to have been colored. and shows Ali and Cook during a boxing fight between Floyd. Patterson and Sunny Liston in Las Vegas in 1963.

In August 2023, a purported viral photo shows heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali standing alongside 1960s singer Sam Cook.

This is an actual photograph, although it appears to be a color version of the original. The photograph is available in the Getty Images archive and was taken by Lee Balterman for Sports Illustrated magazine. It is black and white and shows Ali and Cooke smiling and cheering side by side during a Floyd Patterson vs. Sonny Liston boxing match at Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1963.

The photo shows what most accounts say was a good friendship between the icons. At the time, Ali was also known as Cassius Clay, as he had not yet announced his conversion to Islam. Cooke was a musician. and popular entrepreneurs, many of whom are credited with bringing gospel and R&B music into mainstream culture.

Their friendship is featured in the 2020 film One Night in Miami, a fictional account of a night they spend together in a hotel with black activist Malcolm X and actor Jim Brown. Football After young Clay unexpectedly beat Liston in a February 1964 match, the four of them hung out at the Hampton House Hotel. It was a popular spot for black guests to visit Miami during the Jim Crow era, although it was widely reported that they spent the night together. But their conversation is unknown. The film attempts to create a new assembly using artistic license.

However, history shows that the next day Ali told the media that he had converted to Islam and that his name was Cassius X a few days later. He announced that he would be known as Muhammad Ali.

Even Leslie Odom Jr., the actor who plays Cooke in the movie, shared the picture on his Twitter account on Jan. 15, 2021:

Brown, who died in 2023, reflected on that night in a 2020 interview when he visited the historic Hamptons home again.

This is an actual photograph of Cooke and Ali, so we’ve graded this claim as True.


Bates, Karen Grigsby. “Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X: A Broken Friendship.” A Lasting Heritage.” NPR, 25 Feb. 2016. NPR, an-enduring-legacy . Accessed on Aug. 8, 2023.

Terrible, Terry. “Legends of Black Icons Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) and Malcolm X,” NPR, Feb. 26, 2021. NPR, https:/ / Accessed on 8. Aug 2023

Muhammad Ali heavyweight with singer Sam Prison Between Floyd Patterson…” Getty Images, – Image/107105464. Accessed on Aug. 8, 2023.

“Jim Brown, football great and activist Dead at 87.” ESPN.Com, 19 May 2023, 87 Accessed on Aug. 8, 2023

Jim Brown reflects on a night with Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X in Miami 64 Cleveland Browns., watch?v=A-uq1K_gAXU Accessed Aug. 8, 2023.

Sulli, Meilan. “The True History Behind ‘One Night in Miami’.” Smithsonian Magazine accessed on 8 Aug 2023

Trent, Sydney. “What happens after boxers, revolutionaries, singers and soccer stars meet in a 1960s hotel room?” Washington Post, 17 Jan. 2021,, https://www. . Accessed Aug. 8, 2023.

“When Ali meets Malcolm X after winning the title,” BBC Sport,,, accessed August 8, 2023.

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