(PBS / Florentine Films)

Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day coincided with the first celebration of Muhammad Ali Day in Illinois on what would have been the champion boxer and civil rights activist's 80th birthday.

(Courtesy Florentine Films)

Monday marks not only Martin Luther King Day but in Illinois, it will also recognize the first Muhammad Ali Day. To celebrate, the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition will host a virtual event honoring the boxing legend, featuring speakers including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Ali’s daughter Maryum Ali.

Muhammad Ali talks with the press after winning back the Heavyweight Championship for an unprecedented third time by beating Leon Spinks at the Super Dome in New Orleans, LA. Sept. 15, 1978. (Courtesy of Michael Gaffney)

At an early age he identified himself as “The Greatest” and backed up his words inside and out of the boxing ring. Filmmaker Ken Burns joins “Black Voices” to discuss the sweeping new four-part documentary “Muhammad Ali.”

On Sunday, PBS airs part one of a sweeping new four-part documentary on the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali. (PBS / Florentine Films)

He was bigger than boxing and larger than life — a true icon of the 20th century. Filmmaker Ken Burns and Donald Lassere of the Chicago History Museum join us to discuss the sweeping new four-part documentary on the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali.

Ali loved a crowd, and often found one on 79th Street in Chicago, near the offices of Muhammad Speaks and the popular Tiger Lounge. (© Lowell K. Riley)

A Chicago author tackles the complex life of Muhammad Ali in a new biography with some fascinating revelations.

Neuron in tissue culture. (GerryShaw via Wikimedia Commons)

For more than 20 years, researchers at Northwestern University have collaborated with a global network of scientists to try and unravel the mysteries of Parkinson's disease. A study published this month in Nature Genetics shares an important discovery from that research.

Muhammad Ali versus Ernie Terrell at the Houston Astrodome in 1967. (Cliff / Flickr)

A Muslim prayer service was held Thursday to honor the boxer in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. As part of a Nation of Islam delegation, Salim Muwakkil met Muhammad Ali in Kingston, Jamaica in 1974.