The Bellman

My dad battled a rare cancer for more than 6 years that affected his intestines, stomach and liver. As Dad’s last day approached, I wanted to be by his side when he took his last breath. But that didn’t happen.

I was in Seattle for a speaking engagement, staying at the Seattle Airport Marriott Hotel. I’d shaved and showered, and put on my coat and tie when the phone rang. Thinking it was my ride to the convention, I picked up the phone and said, “I’ll be right there.” Fifteen seconds of silence later, my younger brother’s voice pierced the quiet. “Danny?” Shocked, I answered, “Paul? What’s up?”

I Am the Greatest

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., as Muhammad Ali was once known, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 17, 1942. During Ali’s youth, Louisville was a city of segregated public facilities, the Kentucky Derby, and other symbols of the Southern white aristocracy. African Americans were the servants and poor working class. The grandest dreams available to them were being a preacher or a teacher in an all-black church or school.