Muhammad Ali was one of the most legendary sports figures of the 20th century. Known for his incredible boxing talent and charismatic personality, Ali remains an icon long after his death in 2016. But beyond the fame and headlines, Ali had a complex personal life that included marriages to four women and the fathering of nine children. So just how many kids did Muhammad Ali have during his lifetime?
In total, Muhammad Ali had nine children – two sons and seven daughters. His children came from marriages to his first three wives – Sonji Roi, Belinda Boyd, and Veronica Porche. Several have made names for themselves, most notably daughter Laila Ali who followed her father into championship boxing.
Read on for more details about Muhammad Ali’s marriages, the mothers of his children, and each of his kids in birth order.
Muhammad Ali’s Marriages and Wives
To understand the context around his children, here is background on Muhammad Ali’s romantic relationships:
- He was first married to Sonji Roi from 1964 to 1966. This stormy relationship resulted in no children.
- His second wife was Belinda Boyd, who Muhammad Ali married in 1967. They had four children together – Maryum, Jamillah, Rasheda and Muhammad Ali Jr. They divorced in 1976.
- Ali married his third wife Veronica Porche in 1977. They had two daughters together – Hana and Laila. This marriage lasted from 1977 to 1986.
- Ali’s fourth and final marriage was to Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams in 1986. They adopted a son, Asaad. Lonnie remained married to Ali until his death in 2016.
Now let’s take a closer look at each of Muhammad Ali’s nine children from his earlier marriages.
Maryum Ali – Eldest Daughter
Born in 1968, Maryum Ali is Muhammad Ali’s eldest daughter, the first child from his marriage to Belinda Boyd. While comfortable out of the spotlight, she is reportedly very close to her famous father. Maryum Ali graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz. She is married with children of her own.
Jamillah Ali and Rasheda Ali – Second and Third Daughters
Twins Jamillah Ali and Rasheda Ali were born in 1970 to Muhammad Ali and wife Belinda Boyd. Jamillah is said to be more low-profile and private. Rasheda has been more public over the years, speaking out as a spokesperson for Parkinson’s Disease research and treatment. She also wrote a book about her relationship with her father.
Muhammad Ali Jr. – Eldest Son
Muhammad Ali Jr. was born in 1972, the only biological son of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. His mother is Ali’s second wife Belinda Boyd. While bearing the boxing great’s name, Ali Jr. has largely avoided the spotlight and does not share the same charisma as his father. He works as a landscaper.
Hana Ali – Middle Daughter
The fifth child of Muhammad Ali is daughter Hana Ali, born in 1976 to Ali’s third wife Veronica Porche. She authored the biography More Than a Hero about her relationship with her famous father. Hana runs a jewelry and clothing company inspired by Ali.
Laila Ali – Youngest Daughter & Champion Boxer
Arguably the most famous of Muhammad Ali’s children is daughter Laila Ali, born in 1977. The daughter of Ali and Veronica Porche, she followed her father’s footsteps into championship boxing with an undefeated record, retiring in 2007. She is also known for TV appearances and hosting shows.
Asaad Amin – Adopted Son
While married to his fourth wife Lonnie, Muhammad Ali adopted his ninth child, son Asaad Amin, as a baby in 1986. Along with daughter Hana, Asaad provided comfort to Ali in his declining health during his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Asaad tends to keep out of public view.
Ali Maintained Complex Family Ties
While Muhammad Ali had two children with second wife Belinda, and two more with third wife Veronica, reports suggest he was not always the most attentive father day-to-day. He provided financially for them, but his globe-trotting career and celebrity status sometimes overshadowed family needs.
However, later in life, Ali aimed to balance fame with deeper fatherly bonds as children from his early marriages grew up. Though complex, Ali’s love for his family endured until the end.
Muhammad Ali Kids FAQs
Here are some key questions and answers about Muhammad Ali’s children:
How many daughters did Muhammad Ali have?
Muhammad Ali had seven daughters total from his marriages – Maryum, Jamillah and Rasheda from second wife Belinda; Hana and Laila from third wife Veronica; and he adopted daughter Khaliah.
How many sons did Muhammad Ali have?
Muhammad Ali had only one biological son, Muhammad Ali Jr., from his marriage to Belinda Boyd. He adopted one more son – Asaad Amin – during his fourth marriage to Lonnie.
Which daughter followed Muhammad Ali into boxing?
Muhammad Ali’s youngest daughter Laila Ali also became a world champion boxer, retiring undefeated at 24-0. She was inspired by her father’s talent and tenacity in the ring.
Who was Muhammad Ali’s most famous child?
Without doubt, daughter Laila Ali achieved the most fame as an athlete like her father. She capitalized on fame in other ways too through books, TV appearances, and speaking engagements.
Were Muhammad Ali’s children boxers too?
Only daughter Laila became a boxer. Muhammad Ali’s other children pursued more low-profile careers out of the public eye and did not achieve renown like their father.