Legendary professional boxer Muhammad Ali died on Friday after a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease. Ali was hospitalized in Scottsdale, Arizona on Thursday with a respiratory issue and died the next morning at age 74. Ali was diagnosed with the disease in 1984, three years after he retired from a decades-long career. Ali is survived by his nine children, including world champion boxer Laila Ali.
Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., Ali won multiple titles and championships in his home state of Kentucky. Ali went on to win a gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, and became heavyweight champion of the world after defeating Sonny Liston in 1964. Shortly thereafter, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali and joined the Nation of Islam. Ali refused to be drafted into the military based on his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. Ali was arrested and found guilty of draft evasion charges, and was stripped of his boxing title. Eventually he appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States where his conviction w as overturned.
Ali is the only fighter to win the world heavyweight champion title three times. After suffering from vocal stutters and trembling hands, Ali eventually was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In a statement issued by the White House, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama mourn Ali's death but remain grateful for his presence and career. In Ali's book The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey Ali described his wish to be remembered 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."