“Our hearts are literally hurting. But We are so happy daddy is free now. We all tried to stay strong and whispered in his ear, ‘You can go now. We will be okay. We love love. Thank you. You can go back to God now.’ All of us were around him hugging and kissing him and holding his hands, chanting the Islamic prayer. All of his organs failed but his HEART couldn’t stop beating. For 30 minutes… his heart just keep beating. No one had ever seen anything like it. A true testament to the strength of his Spirit and Will! Thank you all for your love and support!!! – Hana Ali
Muhammad Ali, the iconic prizefighter and activist who proclaimed himself “The Greatest” and was among the most famous and beloved sports figure on God’s planet, died Friday, June 3, 2016 from septic shock in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 74 years old. News of his sudden death shocked the entire world and Muhammad Ali was the popular trend on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Everyone’s newsfeed was about Ali. The legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York honored Muhammad Ali on their marquee. ESPN and 20/20 aired special tributes on Muhammad Ali this past Saturday. Muhammad Ali calculated that he took 29,000 blows to the head during his boxing career.
Muhammad Ali was mourned globally, and a family spokesman said the family “certainly believes that Muhammad was a citizen of the world … and they know that the world grieves with him.” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer stated, “Muhammad Ali belongs to the world. But he only has one hometown.”
Laila Ali compared her father to Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who, like the boxer, sacrificed freedom to stand up for his beliefs.
“This man transcends everything there is, and everybody just loves him. There isn’t anybody else like him, I don’t think there ever will be,” she said.
A funeral for Ali is planned for Friday, June 10, 2016 in his hometown of Louisville. Muhammad Ali is survived by his nine children, including daughter Laila, who, like her father, became a world champion boxer; and his fourth wife, Lonnie.
West 33rd Street between Seventh and Eighth avenues, home to the iconic Madison Square Garden, will be temporarily renamed Muhammad Ali Way.
Ali was more than a prizefighter
Muhammad Ali was not only the greatest heavyweight prizefighter of his generation, but also an activist who opposed the Vietnam War, fought for African-American civil rights and stood for racial justice. He was an author, a singer, and even an actor who once starred in a Broadway musical called Buck White. Muhammad Ali had cameos on iconic 1970s TV shows, including Diffe’rent Strokes and The Sonny and Cher Show.
Muhammad Ali defeated every top heavyweight in his era, which has been called the golden age of heavyweight boxing. Ali was named “Fighter of the Year” by Ring Magazine more times than any other fighter, and was involved in more Ring Magazine “Fight of the Year” bouts than any other fighter. He was an inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and held wins over seven other Hall of Fame inductees. He was one of only three boxers to be named “Sportsman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated.
A man of global stature, Muhammad Ali is an American icon, even in death. Like any one soul, Muhammad Ali was imperfect. But more than most, he fought and persisted and did extraordinary things. For this he was loved, or as Ali liked to put it, he was The Greatest.
“I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me,” Muhammad Ali said. “It would be a better world.”