ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
Senior Staff Writer // Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @PhotoAmy33
Amy Kaplan

The greatest of all time has died.

Muhammad Ali has passed after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 74.

According to ESPN, Ali had been hospitalized this week with respiratory issues, and his children had flown in from around the country.

According to multiple reports, police responded to a 911 call coming from Ali's address on Tuesday and the fire department responded to aid in respiratory issues. News broke of his hospitalization on Friday, and he died later that night. He was last seen publicly on April 9, looking frail.

The heavyweight champ retired from boxing in 1981, but not before amassing one of the most memorable sports careers of all time. His face and name is recognized worldwide, not just because of his boxing career, but because of his refusal to be drafted and sent to Vietnam (a choice that drastically affected his boxing career), his conversion to Islam and his friendship with Malcom X.

"Muhammad Ali was The Greatest. Period," President Barack Obama said in a statement released Saturday morning. "If you just asked him, he'd tell you. He'd tell you he was the double greatest; that he'd 'handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder into jail.'

His words have long been repeated over the years to celebrate equality, determination and reaching your dreams. He was the perfect example of the American dream. If you think Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are masters at the word game, then you've never heard Ali speak.

People all over the world reacted to his passing including boxing legends, celebrities and UFC fighters.

Ali ran boxing for nearly two decades, winning stunner after stunner. Unfortunately due to all the trauma to his body he was left frail, nearly mute and lifeless for years. He retired with a record of 56-5 with 37 knockouts and was the first man to win the heavyweight title three times. He amassed $57 million in his professional career, and created a legacy that could never die.

While most fighters are lucky to have one great legacy fight, Ali had many. He beat the menacing Sonny Liston twice, dominated George Foreman in Zaire and nearly fought to the death with Joe Frazier in the Philippines. His life hit the big screen in 2001 when Will Smith portrayed the champ in ALI.

Even though he lived the last decade of his life as shadow of his former self, he never regretted his career.

"What I suffered physically was worth what I've accomplished in life. A man who is not courageous enough to take risks will never accomplish anything in life,'' said Ali.

RIP, champ.


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