Muhammad Ali's Childhood Home Hits Market For $1.5 Million

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The pink house where boxing legend Muhammad Ali grew up and two neighboring homes are on the market for $1.5 million.

The single-story house, where hundreds of fans gathered for his funeral procession, is a historical landmark reflecting the humble beginnings of one of the greatest athletes ever. Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, spent his formative years dreaming of greatness and practicing boxing in the two-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Louisville, Kentucky.

Co-owner George Bochetto and his business partner at the time restored the house to its 1950s appearance and opened it as a museum. They used old photos to guide the home’s renovation, including furnishings, appliances and artwork, to show looked when Ali lived there.

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One of the neighboring houses included in the listing was turned into a welcome center and gift show. The other was intended to be a short-term rental.

"This is a part of Americana," Bochetto told the Associated Press. "This is part of our history. And it needs to be treated and respected as such."

The museum faced financial difficulties and closed less than two years after opening. Meanwhile, the Muhammad Ali Center continues to preserve his humanitarian and boxing legacies.

A Las Vegas real estate investor, Jared Weiss paid $70,000 for the house in 2012 with plans to restore it. Three years later, he teamed up with Bochetto and the partners spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the restoration project. They subsidized the museum operations and bought the two neighboring homes. Weiss has died, and his wife is co-owner of the project.

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Bochetto told the AP he hopes to find a buyer with the "marketing and operational know-how" to make the museum successful.

"I want to make sure that it continues in that fashion and never goes back to where it's abandoned or dilapidated," he said. "That never should have happened."

Ali's boxing journey began at age 12 when his bicycle was stolen. He wanted to report the theft and was introduced to Joe Martin, a police officer who also worked as a boxing coach at a local gym. Ali told Martin he wanted to punish the thief. Although the bike and the thief were never found, the encounter led Ali to become a regular at Martin's gym, where he started honing his boxing skills.

Ali left home for the 1960 Olympics and returned as a gold medal winner to start a career that made him one of the most recognizable figures in the world. The three-time heavyweight boxing champion also was known as a humanitarian and peace advocate dedicated to improving people's lives and reducing suffering.

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