Global icon and boxing legend Muhammad Ali died last night at the age of 74. This was confirmed in a statement issued by Bob Gunnell, the family spokesman late Friday evening.
The news came a day after Ali was admitted to an as of yet unnamed Phoenix-area hospital.
He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay on January 17,1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. He changed his name after he converted to Islam.
Transcending his athletic prowess, he spoke out against racism and the Vietnam war. So strong were his convictions that he was stripped of the heavyweight title because he refused induction into the armed services.
One time, when he was asked how he would preferred to be remembered, Ali had this to say:
I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him … who stood up for his beliefs … who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”
He is survived by his wife, the former Lonnie Williams and his nine children.