It was such an honor and a privilege for me to have worked Muhammad Ali as my client when his voice was beginning to fail. I will never forget the first day Muhammed walked into my offices on Bedford Drive in Beverly Hills, California, sat down, looked right at me and said “Dr. Glass when you’ve been hit in the head 75,00 times it does something to you.”
He came to see me because he noticed that he would often lose his voice whenever he spoke. It frustrated him that he couldn’t be heard. This was in his early stages of what was his Parkinson’s Disease. So we worked diligently on his speech and voice skills. Throughout our sessions, I helped him learn to coordinate his breathing with his speech and to pay close attention and focus on his abdominal muscles whenever he spoke, in order to help him better project his voice so that it sounded stronger. The above photo is how I remember him when we worked together.
Muhammad used to say that he loved coming to his sessions with me because my smile was like sunshine and that my smile made him smile. He always let me know that he was grateful for my help, which humbled me.
He was also so funny and we laughed a lot during our voice and speech sessions. He loved gadgets and always showed me his latest gadgets. Our sessions would often be interrupted by the ringing of his briefcase as he carried around several of his phones in his briefcase. When multiple phones would ring at once he would laughingly say ” Ah I hear a symphony.“
During our sessions I really got to know him well and was privileged to hear many of his behind the scene stories.
He often spoke of his early days in Miami ( my hometown) and was particularly impressed that I knew so much about his early boxing history in Miami when he was known as Cassius Clay ( thanks to my father and brother who were early fans of his).
During our sessions, he would always come out with a verbal gem, an insight into life which had a great impact on me. Even though, I was his teacher and coach, he was my teacher as well. I learned a lot from this magnificent and precious man. I learned about the gift of charisma, the gift of having self confidence , and the gift of shining your light on others.
Muhammed you touched my heart and soul and you will always be in my heart. The May You Rest in Peace.