Ferdie Pacheco was born in Tampa, Florida on December 8, 1927. He received a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from the University of Florida and a medical degree from the University of Miami. He worked as a general practitioner and often treated poor patients for nothing or a nominal charge. In the early 1960s, his love of boxing drew him to the 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach, where Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, was among the young fighters honing their skills under the trainer Angelo Dundee. Pacheco became Ali's fight doctor as he rose in the pro ranks and remained with him during most of his reign as the heavyweight champion. Pacheco later became a ringside television analyst. Pacheco wrote several books including Fight Doctor, Muhammad Ali: A View from the Corner, Ybor City Chronicles, and Tales From the 5th Street Gym. He died on November 16, 2017 at the age of 89.