Calgary

Calgary man cherishes $10 bill autographed by Muhammad Ali

Stan Jacobs recalls meeting his idol — Muhammad Ali — at the Palliser hotel in the 1970s.

Stan Jacobs met his idol at the Palliser hotel in the 1970s

Boxing great Muhammad Ali signed this $10 bill for Stan Jacobs in the 1970s. (Lisa Jacobs/Instagram)

Stan Jacobs remembers when he met his idol, boxing legend Muhammad Ali. 

It was sometime in the 1970s, and Jacobs had gone with a friend to see the movie Dirty Harry in downtown Calgary.

"We were standing in the foyer and my friend turns to me and he says, 'Look, there's your mentor,'" Jacobs recalls. "So I look, and standing on top of the escalator was the great Muhammad Ali. I was just amazed at looking at the man."

Jacobs approached Ali and asked for his signature.

"I always remembered his name as Cassius Clay. I went up to him and I asked him... 'Cassius, would you sign an autograph?'"

"He looked up at me and he said yes, and after having asked him that, I didn't have a paper or a pen in my hand," Jacobs continued. "I reached in my wallet and I had one $10 bill left after I paid for my tickets. And I borrowed a pen and gave it to the great Muhammad Ali and he smiled and he signed it."

Jacobs, a college boxing champion in India, raised his daughters to know Ali as well. 

Sisters Lisa and Leela Jacobs grew up hearing stories of Muhammad Ali. (Lisa Jacobs/Instagram)

"We grew up with a lot of Muhammad Ali stories," said Jacobs' daughter Lisa. "We had a bunch of VHS tapes so we could watch his fights, and when we weren't watching fights we would be clearing out the living room to form some sort of makeshift boxing ring."

"My sister and I would throw on the gloves and basically beat each other for up while my amazing parents would cheer us on," Lisa Jacobs said laughing. 

Some 30 or 40 years later, Jacobs still has his precious banknote.

"I've been broke many times, because we were in our 20s and it's not that difficult to get broke at that time, but I somehow did not spend that $10 bill," he said. 

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With files from the Calgary Eyeopener