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Louisville mourns loss of boxing legend Ali

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Rahaman Ali stood in a little house on Grand Avenue and dabbed his eyes as he shook hand after hand.

The visitors had come from as far away as Georgia and as near as down the street. They came despite the pouring rain to pay tribute to his brother, The Greatest, Muhammad Ali.

“God bless you all,” the 72-year-old Rahaman said to each.

As the world mourned Muhammad Ali, his death held special meaning here in Louisville, where the boxing great was the city’s favorite son.

“He was one of the most honorable, kindest men to live on this planet,” his brother said while greeting mourners at their childhood home, recently renovated and turned into a museum.

Cars lined both sides of the street for blocks. The guests piled flowers and boxing gloves around the marker designating it a historical site. They were young and old, black and white, friends and fans.

Another makeshift memorial grew outside the Muhammad Ali Center downtown, a museum built in tribute to Ali’s core values: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, charity, spirituality.

“Muhammad Ali belongs to the world,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at a memorial service Saturday morning outside Metro Hall. “But he only has one hometown.”


A family spokesman says Muhammad Ali’s funeral will be held Friday in Louisville, Kentucky.

The funeral scheduled for 2 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center will be open to the public.

Eulogies will be given by former President Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel.


A family spokesman says Muhammad Ali died of septic shock “due to unspecified natural causes.”

Spokesman Bob Gunnell says Ali died Friday at 9:10 p.m., spending the last hour of his life surrounded by his family. He was initially hospitalized in the Phoenix area on Monday.

His funeral is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Gunnell says Ali was a citizen of the world and he wanted people of all walks of life to be able to attend. The funeral will be translated and streamed on the internet.

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