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On August 5, 1978, a letter to the editor was published in The Nation Magazine.  Its author was Muhammad Ali, not quite a month shy of being heavyweight champion for the third time.

If I was doing my act I would say that I deserve all those marvelous things you said about me in your editorial [“Muhammad Ali for Congress”]. But seriously I am extremely flattered by your appraisal of me.  You sure done your homework and covered all the bases.  It ain’t often that I am quoted so accurately. But to get down to the nubbin, I ain’t interested in politics.  I mean like running for office. I’m a world man.  My fellow man is not just an American and my race is the human race. I’m shook up when I see a child that is going hungry or a mother who is without medical attention. These are the things I’m interested in. And of course peace.  Peace for all men and all nations at all times.

Muhammad Ali

New York City

This appeared in The Nation’s 150th Anniversary Issue, along with many other articles, letters, editorials and reports.  You can subscribe to The Nation here.