Like many others around the world today, we woke to terrible news. Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The legendary boxer died at a hospital in Phoenix yesterday, after spending the past few days receiving treatment for respiratory problems.
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.
Beyond the Boxing
Though Ali is most popularly known for being the Greatest boxer the world has ever seen, he stood for so much more. In the 1960s, he converted to Islam and refused to fight in a war abroad, for a country he believed did not fight for or uphold his rights as a Black man and a Muslim at home.
Even after the 1980s, when doctors diagnosed the boxing champ with Parkinson’s disease, he remained a strong political activist. As an activist, he even traveled abroad to Lebanon and Iraq to seek the release of American hostages. Ali also famously threw his Olympic gold medal into a river, after an alleged racist refused to serve him at a fountain counter.
Always a Fighter
These and countless other instances in Ali’s lifetime show his amazing resilience and a refusal to back down from any fight – no matter how intimidating the opponent.
In his lifetime he challenged the prejudiced, his government in court, countless opponents in the ring… and Parkinson’s. He won almost every time and certainly earned his title as The Greatest.
As President Obama and his First Lady says:
Muhammad Ali shook up the world. And the world is better for it.