Woman shares incredible story of being Muhammad Ali’s pen pal for 30 years

Stephanie Meade began sending letters to Muhammad Ali from Seattle at 10 years old, the natural progression for a curious child who watched so much Ali tape with her father that she could recall details of every Ali fight by the time she was 6.

Three weeks after writing her first letter to The Champ, she received a handwritten note back, which said (via BBC):

Meade wrote an as-told-to piece for BBC News in which she explained how she developed an unlikely friendship with Ali.

As Meade grew up, she kept writing Ali, updating him on her life and family, and he kept writing back.

For 30 YEARS, every letter Meade sent to Ali was returned with a gracious response.

Meade finally got to meet Ali in 1992 at an event in Seattle, and as the years passed and Ali’s ability to read and write diminished due to his disease, Meade kept sending monthly letters. Ali’s wife, Lonnie, insisted she kept sending them because she knew they made Ali happy.

In 2014, Ali invited Meade and her entire family to visit him. Via BBC News:

Stephanie Meade flew to Louisville to attend Ali’s funeral and pay her respects to The Champ and probably the best pen pal of all time. Read Meade’s full story here.