November 1, 2016, 1:30 PM EST
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Lot 52: ALI, MUHAMMAD. Two items, each to Charles H. Lyttle: Photograph Signed and Inscribed * Typed Letter Signed.(40 views)
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Estimate: $1,000 - $2,000
Description: VIETNAM WAR RESISTANCE "FAR GREATER VICTORY THAN ANY IN MY ATHLETIC CAREER" ALI, MUHAMMAD. Two items, each to Charles H. Lyttle: Photograph Signed and Inscribed * Typed Letter Signed. The photograph, "To / Charles / Lyttle / With Regards," 1/2-length portrait, showing him wearing boxing gloves and shorts, looking into the camera, with left arm in mid-punch. Inscribed in the image, upper and lower right. 5x3 1/2 inches. The letter, thanking him for supporting his resistance to the draft, agreeing that his successful resistance is greater than any achievement of his career, and expressing confidence that his victory is worth any price--even "the maximum." 1 page, 4to, "World's Heavyweight Boxing Champion" stationery; scattered areas of faint uneven discoloration, horizontal folds. With the original envelope. Np, nd; Chicago, 4 August 1967
". . . I have received many letters since my refusal to enter the army for the purpose of fighting in Vietnam, but never have I received one which so thoroughly boosted my morale as yours. I appreciate that you have obviously thought about my situation and your understanding of the pressures and conflicts I must undergo in order to maintain my stand against being drafted . . . .
". . . [Y]ou are right when you say that I have won a 'far greater victory than any in my athletic career'. For, regardless of the price I have to pay--and it appears, at present, that the price will be the maximum--I do feel that I have won something they sure will not be able to take away, so easily as they did the title. One of these is respect and support from such a wonderful person as yourself.
"Please accept the enclosed copy of my favorite boxing picture as a token of my regards."