Ali Birthday Celebrations Begin This Weekend

More than 300 people, including notables from the fields of entertainment, sports and politics, will take part in a fundraising gala tomorrow night to mark Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday.

The guest list for the $1,000 per plate private dinner at the Ali Center includes the boxing legend’s longtime trainer, Angelo Dundee, musician John Mellencamp and Congressman John Yarmuth.

A weeklong series of public birthday events begins Sunday at the Ali Center.

They include film screenings and a Smithsonian exhibition focusing on people of dual African-American and Native American ancestries.

A center spokeswoman says Ali will attend tomorrow’s gala but has not been confirmed for any of the public events.

Ali’s 70th birthday is Tuesday.

(Photo by Sheila Ash/September, 2010)