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    Ali in Louisville
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    Louisville has lost one of its hometown heroes. Legendary athlete Muhammad Ali died Friday night in Scottsdale, Arizona of septic shock after years of declining health due to Parkinson's Disease. 
    Known far and wide as the greatest of all time, Ali was famous for his ferocity and determination inside and outside of the ring. Born in Louisville as Cassius Clay, Ali was subjected to, and deeply affected by racial segregation, which would inspire him to become involved in the civil rights movement later in his life. He made his boxing debut in 1954, and, after winning several Golden Glove titles in Kentucky, and a Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics, he began boxing professionally in 1960. It was in 1964, when he was famous worldwide for defeating Sonny Liston in the World Heavyweight Championship, that Clay announced he had joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
     
    Ali had an incredible lifetime record of 56 wins and five loses in his boxing career, including some of the most famous matches in history. The photo of him towering over the unconscious body of Sonny Liston remains iconic to this day. Ali was known as the most biting and aggressive trash-talker in history. 
     
    Image: Yahoo
     
    Ali was also famous for his outspoken civil rights efforts and his opposition to the Vietnam War. Despite being faced with jail time and suspension of his boxing title, Ali remained steadfast in his refusal to partake in the war, siting his religion and position in the Nation of Islam. Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and spent much of his later life focusing on humanitarian efforts and philanthropy. The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville was opened in 2005 and is dedicated to preserving Ali's 
     
    This Friday, June 10, a procession through the streets of Louisville will begin at 9 a.m, and culminate in Ali's private burial at Cave Hill Cemetery. At 2 p.m, at the KFC Yum Center, a free and open to the public memorial service will take place. The service will include eulogies from former president Bill Clinton, comedian Billy Crystal, sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, and King Abdullah II of Jordan. Seating is limited, and tickets will be available at the KFC Yum Center box office beginning at 10 a.m on Wednesday, but the event will also be streamed live at alicenter.org. 
     
    Mayor Fischer has announced that this Wednesday, June 8 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m, will be the inaugural "I Am Ali" Festival. The festival will take place in the lobby of the KY Center for the Arts; Jefferson County Public Schools, the Louisville Zoo, the Louisville Free Public Library and other institutions will provide booths and entertainment, and local rapper 1200 will be performing. Visitors are also encouraged to make a stop at the Muhammad Ali Center, which is offering free admission this week (though a donation is suggested).
     
    For those millions inspired by the life of Ali, The Muhammad Ali Center is accepting condolences and remembrances at the center, as well as online. 
     
    To read about funeral arrangements, and other upcoming Ali-related events and celebrations in Louisville, click here.
     
    To read about Ali's hidden talents in the world of music, click here.
     
    To read about ten might things you might not have known about the greatest, click here.
     

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