Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, arguably and self-admittedly the "greatest of all time," died Friday night, and people from all walks of life took to Twitter to express their condolences.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Ali was admitted to a hospital in Phoenix Thursday with a respiratory condition that was complicated by his 20-year battle with Parkinson's disease, according to the Associated Press. By the next day, the 74-year-old former heavyweight champion's family had flocked to his bedside when he was placed on life support, according to a separate report from the Los Angeles Times.
Boxing officials close to Ali's family told the Times Friday evening that "Ali's condition has deteriorated to the point that an individual close to the situation has said 'it could be hours' before his passing." Shortly thereafter, family spokesperson Bob Gunnell said in a statement that Ali died late Friday night.
His hospital stay and subsequent death sparked legions of tweets — fans, colleagues, celebrities all chiming in with thoughts on the late Olympic medalist, whose role in sports transcended the boxing ring.
Earlier in the day, Ali's daughter Laila, a decorated boxer in her own right, reacted to her father's hospital stay by sharing a few images on her Facebook page:
Ali was well known for his refusal to enter the Vietnam War draft, which caused him to lose his championship titles, passport and boxing license and face imprisonment.
While biding his time before he could return to the stage, Ali easily morphed into an iconic figure for human rights. Between championing peace and converting to Islam, there was no sphere of influence missing Ali’s special touch.
Although time spent in the ring eventually took its toll on Ali, he didn't let Parkinson's stop him. The official biography on his website cited his efforts to raise funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson’s Center in Phoenix, while continuing to be an active public figure "dedicated to his faith and humanitarian beliefs."
The landing page on Ali's website, featuring a portrait of a laughing Ali with the years 1942-2016 emblazoned on the top right corner, officially closed the book on Ali’s life on earth.
That said, it’s not too bold to echo the contents of the site itself: “Boxing was just one of the amazing facets of Muhammad Ali — the man. His story, told in and outside of the ring, is unparalleled in modern celebrity.”