Ali at St. Edmund

Historic photo of 'The Greatest' at parish sports benefit event surfaces

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

The recent death of heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali prompted Wednesday Journal reader Barbara Pietrusiak to dig out an old photo of "The Greatest" during a visit to St. Edmund Parish in Oak Park taken sometime in the 1970s.

Pietrusiak tells Wednesday Journal that the photo was taken in Murphy Hall at St. Edmund during an end-of-the-season sports banquet.

"The photo depicts Johnny 'Red' Kerr playfully jabbing Ali in the nose, while Fr. William Kelly, pastor of St. Edmund Parish, restrains him," Pietrusiak explained in a letter accompanying the photo, joking that "pastors were tougher in those days."

"Among his numerous interests, Ali promoted sports programs for young people," she said. "He made the effort and took the time to involve himself in the lives of the budding athletes."


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