Known to billions all over the world as “The Greatest,” former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali walked on Friday at his family home in Arizona.
In a tweet, his daughter Hana Ali described the peaceful last moments of Ali’s life:
Our hearts are literally hurting. But we are so happy that he is free now. We all tried to stay strong and whispered in his ear, ‘You can go now. We will be ok. We love you. Thank you. You can go back to God now.’ All of us were around him hugging and kissing him and holding his hands, chanting the Islamic prayer.
According to Hana Ali, her father fought until the end. She wrote in her tweet that though all of his organs failed, his heart wouldn’t stop beating for 30 minutes before walking on.
Not only was Ali known for his incredible accomplishments in boxing, but he was also an ally to many races in the civil rights movements, including Indian Country.
One image on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian website is a photo of Muhammad Ali and several Native rights leaders and activists, including Buffy Sainte-Marie and Floyd Crow Westerman.
From the NMAI description:
Solidarity between African Americans and Native Americans grew with the Black Power movement of the 1970s, whose goals were closer to the nationalism espoused by American Indian Movement activists. Pictured here (left to right) are Muhammad Ali, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Harold Smith, Stevie Wonder, Marlon Brando, Max Gail, Dick Gregory, Richie Havens, and David Amram at a concert at the end of the Longest Walk, a 3,600-mile protest march from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., in the name of Native rights.
According to CNN, Ali had been at HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center in Scottsdale since Thursday with what spokesman Bob Gunnell had described as a respiratory issue.
“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74,” Gunnell said in a statement. “The Ali family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support and asks for privacy at this time.”