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The Great Muhammad Ali Dies at 74

muhammadealipic(CNN) Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer who proclaimed himself “The Greatest” and was among the most famous and beloved athletes on the planet, died Friday in Phoenix, a family spokesman said.

Ali had been at a hospital since Thursday with what spokesman Bob Gunnell had described as a respiratory issue.

“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 in a statement. “The Ali family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support and asks for privacy at this time.”

Ali’s daughter Hana Ali said her father was the a “humble mountain.”

And now he has gone home to God. God bless you daddy. YOU ARE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!” she tweeted.

muhammadalipic2Even as the former champ battled Parkinson’s, he had the same love for life and people, King said. Parkinson’s disease, which primarily affects a patient’s movement, is a “progressive disorder of the nervous system,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Don King, the boxing promoter who was every bit as brash as Ali, told CNN that in his mind Ali will never die.

“His spirit will go on forever,” he said. “He’s just a great human being, a champion of the people, the greatest of all time.”
Even as the former champ battled Parkinson’s, he had the same love for life and people, King said. Parkinson’s disease, which primarily affects a patient’s movement, is a “progressive disorder of the nervous system,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
“His spirit was solid as ever,” King said. “He wasn’t the man who’d take defeat. Defeat wasn’t in his vocabulary.”
lailaalipicHours before her famed father passed away, Laila Ali posted a throwback photo of Muhammad Ali with her daughter, Sydney, who was born in 2011.
“I love this photo of my father and my daughter Sydney when she was a baby! Thanks for all the love and well wishes. I feel your love and appreciate it!!” Laila Ali, herself a former world champion boxer, wrote.

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