Today in Black Jewish History Month, Drew Bundini Brown.
Drew Bundini Brown was an assistant trainer and cornerman of Muhammad Ali throughout the former heavyweight champion’s career, as well as occasional film actor.
Brown was born in Midway, Florida and joined the Navy as a messboy at age 13. Discharged two years later, he returned to the United States Merchant Marine, and spent 12 years traveling the world. He later became part of Sugar Ray Robinson’s entourage.
Brown was married to Rhoda Palestine Brown. They had one son, Drew Brown III who joined the United states Navy, became a fighter pilot and won numerous awards for his service. He was born a Black Jew and was the only one to ever fly off a Navy aircraft carrier.
Brown joined Ali’s entourage in 1963,when the boxer was known as Cassius Clay, and remained with him until his final fight in 1981.
Brown was also one of Ali’s speech writers. He wrote certain poems, such as coining Ali’s famous and oft quoted :
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see.”
Which Ali used to taunt Sonny Liston at the press conference prior to his February 25, 1964 victory over the WBA and WBC champion to claim both titles.
Brown also enjoyed several bit acting roles, appearing in Shaft, Shaft’s Big Score, Aaron Loves Angela, The Color Purple, and Penitentiary III.
This is Black Jewish History Month at MaNishtana’s Musings.