Former U.S. president Bill Clinton is among the luminaries scheduled to deliver eulogies at the funeral of boxing champ Muhammad Ali, who died late Friday at age 74, of complications from Parkinson's disease.
At a news conference Saturday, representatives for Ali announced that the funeral will be held Friday in Louisville, Kentucky, the hometown of the man known affectionately by his fans as "Champ" and "the Greatest." In addition to Clinton, comic Billy Crystal and newscaster Bryant Gumbel are slated to deliver eulogies.
Ali's spokesman said Ali was "a citizen of the world" and that he wanted people of all walks of life to be able to attend. Accordingly, the service will be held at a Louisville sports arena, the KFC Yum! Center, that seats 22,000 people. It will be open to the public and streamed on the internet.
Sports fans and admirers of Ali remembered and mourned their hero Saturday in the hours after it was announced the former world boxing champion had died.
Flags were lowered to half staff Saturday and a memorial service was held in Louisville, Kentucky, where Ali - then known as Cassius Marcellus Clay - grew up - and where he learned the boxing skills that brought him an Olympic gold medal in 1960. A few years later, after he won the world heavyweight title for the first time as a professional boxer, Clay announced that he had embraced Islam, discarded his forebears' "slave name" and become Muhammad Ali.
READ: Muhammad Ali in His Own Words
In New York City, a memorial service was held in the city's Harlem neighborhood, and tributes were offered by fans who gathered outside the iconic sports venue, Madison Square Garden.
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