The Greatest no longer among Us – Legendary Boxer Muhammad Ali, Gone at 74

Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight boxing champion, has died at age 74, a family spokesman said.

Ali’s “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” credo described his style inside and outside the ring. He was brash and a showman, and used his fame to champion social causes. For years Ali was probably the most recognizable man on the planet.

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984, three years after he retired from the ring. He had been recently hospitalized and was being treated for a respiratory issue...

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, three years after he retired from the ring. He had been recently hospitalized and was being treated for a respiratory issue…

A family spokesman, Bob Gunnell, issued a statement saying that Ali died late Friday. “After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,” Gunnell said.

The boxing great's funeral will be Friday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. There will be a funeral procession through the streets of the city and President Bill Clinton, Bryant Gumbel and Billy Crystal will be among those speaking at the inter-faith ceremony.

The boxing great’s funeral will be Friday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. There will be a funeral procession through the streets of the city and President Bill Clinton, Bryant Gumbel and Billy Crystal will be among those speaking at the inter-faith ceremony.

Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome in 1984, the result of taking too many punches during his years in the ring, particularly at the end of his career, was hospitalized on June 2 in Phoenix for a respiratory ailment.

Ali’s gift of gab, fearless braggadocio, and outspoken politics made him a pop-culture icon in equal measure to his prodigious talents as a pugilist. Movies about his exploits won an Academy Award (the 1996 Oscar for best documentary for Leon Gast’sWhen We Were Kings“) and were nominated twice more (Will Smith and Jon Voight for actor and supporting actor in the Michael Mann-directed 2001 biopicAli“). {MORE CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING ON HIGHLIGHTED LINKS IN AMALGAMATED ITEM}

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