Three time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali passed away from complications of Parkinson’s disease on Friday. He was taken to a Phoenix area hospital on Thursday after suffering sudden severe respiratory distress. He was 74.
Only the Greatest can write his obituary. Here is how Ali wanted to be remembered, in his own words:
“I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love.
And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”
The Greatest’s most memorable quotes:
THE GREATESTS: Muhammad Ali and Michael Jackson
Twitter reacts to Muhammad Ali’s Passing:
Ali, Frazier & Foreman we were 1 guy a part of me slipped away "the greatest piece" Muhammad Ali.
— George Foreman (@GeorgeForeman) June 4, 2016
— LeBron James ? (@LeBronJames) June 4, 2016
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) June 4, 2016
— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) June 4, 2016
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) June 4, 2016
Please tell me it's not true that 1 of my childhood heroes @MuhammadAli has passed away. He is the Greatest athlete of ALL TIME. Truth
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) June 4, 2016
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— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) June 4, 2016
Truly a giant of human kind. Giving more than he received with everyday he lived his life. We will be grateful to you forever, Muhammad Ali!
— Edward James Olmos (@edwardjolmos) June 4, 2016
The original GOAT is gone. I will never forget his vast legacy and the time he showed me a magic trick. #MuhammadAli Forever!!
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) June 4, 2016
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) June 4, 2016
Muhammad Ali DRAGGING this white woman by her roots – "don't compare yourself to no black man" https://t.co/ESEmE6dBE3
— z (@obvszee) June 4, 2016
I cannot believe we have lost Muhammad Ali. He really was The Greatest.
— Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) June 4, 2016
I met Muhammad Ali once, for a few seconds. Like all who did, I shall never forget it. My column: https://t.co/qoaESthN5Q
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 4, 2016
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) June 4, 2016
Thinking of #MuhammadAli and remembering a man who was not afraid to take a stand and who was committed to being his authentic self.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) June 4, 2016
— Yolanda Adams (@YolandaAdams) June 4, 2016
— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) June 4, 2016
— Malaaqsaab (@nom_malik) June 4, 2016
Why aren't the headlines not "MUSLIM"Legend boxer passes away? Does the media only like using that word when theres a bombing?#MuhammadAli
— ???? (@OmarImranTweets) June 4, 2016
RIP Muhammad Ali…we will miss your spirit and humanity. You were shunned,excoriated and jailed for the same reason that made you a hero…
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) June 4, 2016
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" RIP #MuhammadAli ?
— Joan Collins (@Joancollinsdbe) June 4, 2016
My favorite Muhammad Ali quote from a long list of great ones ?? pic.twitter.com/b1DdfVSW6a
— The Junior (@DJW25_) June 4, 2016
Muhammad Ali, pacifist, Muslim. Convicted as a felon simply because he refused to go to Vietnam: "No Vietnamese ever called me n*****." -Ali
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) June 4, 2016
I'm gonna cry a lot of tears tonight!!! RIP to The Original Greatest! Muhammad Ali!!!
— DJ Jazzy Jeff (@djjazzyjeff215) June 4, 2016
Muhammad Ali was a true inspiration for me in my career. His strength in what he believed in fueled me in my resolve. #RIPChamp
— Warren Moon (@WMoon1) June 4, 2016