Boxing Icon Muhammad Ali passed away today at the age of 74. Ali was more than just a “The Greatest” heavyweight boxing legend, but he was also a man who stood for his beliefs and principles.
The boxer had been hospitalized for respiratory problems in Arizona on Thursday, his condition deteriorated and his family confirmed that he passed away the following evening.
“Muhammad passed with his family at his side just moments ago. It was a very peaceful passing and they are with him as we speak. You know, we lost a great person in this world tonight,” a family spokesperson told MSNBC’s Brian Williams. They also stated, “We don’t have an official cause of death yet, but it has to be from complications of Parkinson’s.”
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky in 1942. But in 1964, after converting to Islam, Cassius Clay was laid to rest and Muhammad Ali was born.
Ali had a 100-5 record, which earned him the nickname “The Greatest”.
Ali won three World Heavyweight Boxing Championships and the lightweight heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Ali retired from boxing in 1981.
In 1967, Ali was stripped of his title by the World Boxing Association and had his boxing license revoked after declaring himself a conscientious objector and refusing to be drafted for military service in the Vietnam War. In 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed his Selective Service violation conviction.
In 1996, the “When We Were Kings” documentary, won an Oscar, and in 2001, Will Smith won a Best Actor Nomination for his portrayal of the legendary boxer in “Ali”.
He is survived by his wife, Yolanda, seven daughters (, including boxer Laila Ali) and two sons.