Ali’s Irish Roots

Muhammed Ali.

By Irish America Staff
August / September 2002

While Muhammad Ali’s biographer, Thomas Hauser, established some years ago that Ali’s great-grandfather was Abe Grady from County Clare, the Heritage Centre in Corofin, County Clare, has now established that Grady was an Ennis man. Born in the 1840s, Grady settled in Kentucky and married an African-American woman. Their son also married an African-American woman and the daughter from this union, Odessa Lee Grady, became Muhammed Ali’s mother. Odessa married Cassius Clay in the 1930s and their son, also named Cassius Clay, was born in 1942. Clay converted to the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1963.

To date, the Heritage Center have not uncovered any relatives of Abe Grady living in Ireland. ♦

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