UPDATE: 4:20 p.m. EDT — Plans were being made Saturday to transport Muhammad Ali’s body to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where a funeral is scheduled for Friday at the city’s KFC Yum! Center sports arena.
Eulogies will be delivered by former President Bill Clinton, comedian and actor Billy Crystal and news anchor Bryant Gumbel, a family spokesman said.
The funeral service will be open to the public and will include a procession through the streets of Louisville, KSAZ-TV, Phoenix, reported.
Burial will be in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted.
Ali, 74, died of septic shock at 9:10 p.m., local time, Friday in an Arizona hospital, the family said Saturday.
“All of his organs failed but his heart wouldn’t spot beating. For 30 minutes, his heart just kept beating. [...] A true testament to the strength of his spirit and will!” daughter Hana Ali tweeted.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali died Friday at the age of 74, his family confirmed early Saturday. Ali, who battled Parkinson’s disease for over three decades, was admitted to the Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, Thursday, following respiratory problems. At the time, his representative said Ali was in “fair” condition and expected a brief hospital stay.
Ali’s funeral will be held in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, family spokesman Bob Gunnel said, in a statement. Gunnel said that Ali died Friday evening.
Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., was hospitalized twice in recent months. Widely known as “The Greatest,” Ali stayed out of public eye in recent years. He was reportedly last seen at a Parkinson’s fundraiser April 9 in Phoenix.
In 1967, Ali — who made his professional debut in October 1960 — refused to report to the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam. Consequently, he was convicted of draft evasion and was denied a license for boxing across the U.S. and was stripped of his passport.
“Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. No Viet Cong ever called me n-----,” was Ali’s explanation for the refusal.
Don King, a boxing promoter, told CNN that Ali, also known as “The People’s Champion,” was ready to go to prison for the refusal.
“He stood his ground on who he was. They took him to all kinds of trials and tribulations,” King told CNN. “He’d rather go to jail than break what he believed in.”
Ali did not participate in boxing matches from March 1967-October 1970 as he continued to voice criticism against the Vietnam War and fought his conviction, which was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971.
Muhammad Ali was not just a champion in the ring - he was a champion of civil rights, and a role model for so many people.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) June 4, 2016
Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2016
— Muhammad Ali (@MuhammadAli) June 4, 2016
"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." Rest in peace #MuhammadAli
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) June 4, 2016
— Jack (@jack) June 4, 2016
God bless Muhammad Ali peace and love to all his family. _✌️__
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) June 4, 2016
To honor Muhammad Ali's life & work, flags at all Metro Government facilities will be lowered to half-staff at 10am pic.twitter.com/Qm5xjkk6qr
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) June 4, 2016
— Paul Silky Jones (@PSilkyJones) June 4, 2016