Three-time heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali, who charmed millions with his wit and confidence in the ring and inspired many more with his commitment to humanitarian causes has died, according to the family spokesman. He was 74.
Ali had been hospitalized for a respiratory issue June 2. At the time, a rep said he was in fair condition. Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s syndrome in 1984, the result of taking too many punches during his years in the ring, particularly at the end of his career.
One of the greatest fighters in the history of boxing, Ali retired in 1981 after losing to Trevor Berbick in his 61st career bout. Soon thereafter, Ali — who doctors said had begun showing signs of sluggishness and neurological damage in the 1970s — began receiving treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Ali, who called himself “The Greatest,” was married four times and had nine children – seven daughters and two sons, including daughter Laila, who also became a professional boxer. Ali and his fourth wife, Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams, had been married since 1986.