Muhammad Ali is dead

"I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was."

Muhammad Ali, the all time champion who famously proclaimed himself "The Greatest" and then spent a lifetime living up to the billing, is died at the age of 74.

Ali died Friday at a Phoenix-area hospital, where he had spent the past few days being treated for respiratory complications, he was 74.

"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,".

Ali had suffered for three decades from Parkinson's, a progressive neurological condition that slowly robbed him of both his verbal grace and his physical dexterity. A funeral service is planned in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

His daughter Rasheda said early Saturday that the legend was "no longer suffering," describing him as "daddy, my best friend and hero" as well as "the greatest man that ever lived."

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay on Jan. 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, to middle-class parents, Ali started boxing when he was 12, winning Golden Gloves titles before heading to the 1960 Olympics in Rome, where he won a gold medal as a light heavyweight.

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