If Muhammad Ali posed for a photograph, it was to show off his power and his menace in the ring. Rarely, in his glory days of boxing, did he allow any photographer to see the relaxed, thoughtful, introspective Ali. One of the few was Bill Peronneau who, in 1974 and as a young photojournalist, was allowed rare access to the boxer at his cabin in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. This was a private retreat where Ali prepared for his fights; on this occasion, the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ contest with George Foreman. In these black and white photographs – snatched in a matter of minutes – the world heavyweight champion looks calm and serene, glowing with an awesome beauty. The photographs are on the lower ground floor.
Biography: Bill Peronneau was born in Philadelphia, USA, in 1946. After a career as a photojournalist, he turned to fine art photography and, in the mid-1970s, was named Time-Life’s ‘discovery of the year’.
These works are part of the permanent collection at Jesmond Dene House.