Muhammad Ali dies at age 74, family spokesman says Forever the “Greatest of All-Time”

Legendary heavyweight champion and social icon Muhammad Ali has died, a family spokesman said late Friday in a statement.

He was 74.

Ali had been hospitalized in the Phoenix area this week with respiratory issues. The Paradise Valley Police Department told ABC News that an emergency medical services call was made from Ali’s address in the Phoenix area on Tuesday, and the Phoenix Fire Department confirmed it responded to a call for mutual aid for a 74-year-old male with respiratory issues at that time.

Retired from boxing since 1981, Ali had battled Parkinson’s disease for years. He had been hospitalized a few other times in recent years, including in early 2015, due to a severe urinary tract infection initially diagnosed as pneumonia.

Ali had looked increasingly frail in public appearances, the last coming April 9 when he wore sunglasses and was hunched over at the annual Celebrity Fight Night dinner in Phoenix, which raises funds for treatment of Parkinson’s. He had been living quietly in the Phoenix area with his fourth wife, Lonnie, whom he married in 1986.

His death reaches far beyond the sport of boxing.

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