JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s been more than 40 years since Jacksonville artist Daniel Wynn wrote a life-changing poem about his hero, Muhammad Ali.
Wynn was living in Washington D.C. when Ali came to town. What happened to Wynn went far beyond simply meeting Ali, and it all started with his poem.
Someone had given Wynn’s poem to Ali at an event in Washington where the boxing icon was receiving an award. Wynn says the champ approached him with a request.
“He said, can you recite that for me?” Wynn said. “I recited the poem and he said ‘that's fantastic. I want you on the program.'”
Wynn said you can't say no to the champ’s vibrant personality.
“He’s just full of energy but concern for mankind’” Wynn said.
“I was talking to Ali and he was greeting the people out in the crowd and he's holding my hand and said we're doing this together,” Wynn said
Wynn said that night Ali was inviting as they talked about world issues. He even got a chance to see Ali again days later, and took photos.
“That was one of the greatest moments of my life, you know, to be able to stand before him and present that, and to know that he really liked the poem and really appreciated it,” Wynn said. “He told me, Daniel, you know you describe my story, told my story in this poem.”
Though brief, Wynn says his time with Ali changed his life forever
Wynn has pictures with Ali in his gallery in Jacksonville, they’re also on display at Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.