Muhammad Ali kissed me once. On the cheek.
According to my dad, I was 4 or 5 years old. We were standing around at a terminal in Chicago's O'Hare Airport waiting on the arrival of a family member when my dad spotted a crowd forming around a large, familiar figure.
My father picked me up in his arms and followed the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion out onto the street shouting for my grandmother and aunt to follow him.
I remember the giant mass of a man bending deeply over to gently kiss my tiny grandmother and aunt on the cheek. Then Ali reached down, picked me up and planted a soft, tiny kiss on my face, which, at the time, I found odd considering we had not been properly introduced.
He was so kind to us in those short few moments, signing the only piece of paper my dad had on him — a five-dollar bill which lives on in family history. There are surely thousands of people out there with similar stories, as Ali was well-known for being very kind to his legions of adoring fans.
Another hero passes.