Who is Veronica Porché Ali?
Veronica Porché Anderson was born in Los Angeles, California USA, on 16 December 1955 – her zodiac sign is Sagittarius, and she holds American nationality. She’s a psychologist, TV personality and a bit of an actress, while she’s perhaps known best for being the former wife of the late American professional boxer and activist Muhammad Ali.
Early life and education
Veronica was raised in Los Angeles by her father Horace Porché, and her mother Ethel, both of whom were of Louisiana Creole descent; because Veronica hasn’t spoken of having any siblings, most of her fans believe that she’s an only child.
She became interested in a couple of activities while growing up, including dancing and singing, but was urged by her parents to focus on her education.
Veronica eventually moved to Lafayette, Louisiana where she studied at the boarding school Holy Rosary Catholic, however, she returned to Echo Park in Los Angeles two years later, and there attended Belmont High School.
She matriculated in 1973, and then enrolled at the University of Southern California, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1977.
Veronica wanted to become an actress but was very shy, which was why she enrolled at Beverly Hills Playhouse, studying acting.
In 1978, Veronica appeared in the episode “Muhammad Ali” of the documentary series “This Is Your Life”, and the following year saw her appear in the TV special “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Hits”.
In 1987, she was invited to make a guest appearance in the talk-show “Ebony/Jet Showcase”, and the same year saw her make her debut (and only) film appearance, with her portrayal of one of the main characters, Ranger Emily, in the action crime horror “Terror on Alcatraz”. It was directed by Philip Marcus, also starred Aldo Ray and Sandy Brooke, and follows Frank Morris, a man who had escaped from Alcatraz decades ago, and who’s now killing young people who are partying on The Rock.
Veronica was featured in the 2001 episode “Laila Ali” of the documentary series “Intimate Portrait”, and appeared in the 2007 episode “Round 10 Results” of the dancing competition show “Dancing with the Stars”.
In 2014, she starred in the documentary movie “I Am Ali”, and her most recent appearance has been in the 2021 episode “Round Four: The Spell Remains (1974-2016)” of the documentary mini-series “Muhammad Ali”.
She’s today working as a psychologist.
Love life and marriage with Muhammad Ali
Veronica met Muhammad Ali in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974. At that time, she was working as a poster girl, and was promoting the Rumble in the Jungle fight between Muhammad and George Foreman. There was apparently instant attraction between Muhammad and Veronica, and they started dating not long after the fight. On 27 March 1976, Veronica gave birth to their first daughter Hana Yasmeen Ali, who has become an author.
In the summer of 1977, Veronica and Muhammad married in a large ceremony in Los Angeles, attended by many of their friends and family members, and on 30 December 1977, Veronica gave birth to their second daughter Laila Amaria Ali; Laila’s today a TV personality and a former professional boxer.
Veronica and Muhammad divorced in 1985, and she married the famous American singer and actor Carlton Earl ‘Carl’ Anderson in 1992; the marriage ended when Carlton died of leukemia in 2004.
Veronica hasn’t spoken of any other men whom she might have been with, so as of February 2022, she seems to be single, was married twice, and has two daughters with her first husband Muhammad Ali.
Hobbies and other interests
Veronica has been passionate about travelling since she was a teenager, and often travelled with Muhammad whenever he was about to fight. She spent the majority of the ‘90s travelling with her second husband Carlton, mostly while he was touring around the US and portraying Judas Iscariot in the opera “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
Veronica loves to read, and has read hundreds of books; her favorite author is James Baldwin, and his books “The Fire Next Time” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain”.
She’s a huge lover of animals, with cats and horses being her favorites, and has had many pet cats.
Veronica enjoys watching movies in her spare time – her favorite actor and actress are Will Smith and Scarlett Johansson, while a couple of her favorite films include “Men in Black”, “Seven Pounds” and “Independence Day”.
Age, height and net worth
Veronica’s age is 66. She has long brown hair and brown eyes, her height is 5ft 6ins (1.7m) and she weighs around 130lbs (60kgs).
As of February 2022, Veronica’s net worth has been estimated at over $1 million, most of which she received as divorce settlement, while Muhammad’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated at more than $50 million.
Who was Muhammad Ali?
Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky USA, on 17 January 1942 – his zodiac sign was Capricorn, and he held American nationality. He’s widely rated as the best heavyweight boxer of all time.
He was raised alongside his younger brother Rudolph ‘Rudy’ Clay in Louisville, by their father Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. who was a painter and musician, and their mother Odessa O’Grady Clay who was a housewife. Muhammad was raised Baptist, and studied at Central High School.
He was 12 years old when his bicycle was stolen by a thief, after which the boxing coach and police officer Joe E. Martin told him that he should learn to box. Muhammad then began watching the TV boxing show “Tomorrow’s Champions”, and started training under Fred Stoner. He fought his debut amateur match in 1954, when he won against Ronnie O’Keefe by split decision. The following years saw Muhammad win two national Golden Glove (national) titles, six Kentucky Golden Gloves, and a gold medal in the light heavyweight category at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy. His record as an amateur was 100-5.
He fought his first professional match on 29 October 1960, when he beat Tunney Hunsaker, and the following four years saw Muhammad win all of his 19 matches, 15 by knockout.
On 25 February 1964, Muhammad fought the World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston, winning by technical knockout in the sixth round. The two men faced each other again in May 1965, and Muhammad defeated him again, this time in under two minutes.
He then faced and beat several challengers, while his following interesting match was on 6 February 1967, when he faced Ernie Terrell; the boxing match lasted for the entire 15 rounds, and Muhammad won by unanimous decision.
Because he had already become a follower of Islam, Muhammad declined to serve in the US Army when drafted in 1967, claiming that war was against the teachings of the Qur’an. He was arrested because of this on 28 April 1967, was stripped of his boxing title, and the New York State Athletic Commission took his boxing license from him. He was found guilty on 20 June 1967, but remained free until the decision was overthrown by the Supreme Court on 28 June 1971.
On 8 March 1971, Muhammad fought Joe Frazier in what is remembered as ‘Fight of the Century’, mostly because both men had previously been undefeated; Joe won the fight by unanimous decision. Muhammad lost his second fight in 1973, against Ken Norton, but became World Heavyweight Champion for the second time on 30 October 1974, when he beat George Foreman by knockout in the eighth round in the aforementioned Rumble in the Jungle. He subsequently defeated Joe Frazier in their third fight – the so-called Thriller in Manilla – on 1 October 1975
Ali fought his final fight on 11 December 1981, when he lost to Trevor Berbick by a unanimous decision, and he then retired from boxing.
He was married four times and had nine children, including his two daughters with Veronica.
Muhammad started struggling with Parkinson’s Syndrome in the second half of the ‘90s, and in February 2013, his brother Rahman Ali stated that Muhammad had become mute, and could die any day. Muhammad died three years later, on 3 June 2016, from septic shock.