Muhammad Ali’s funeral will be held on Friday, June 10, in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Us Weekly reports that the list of people who will deliver eulogies has also been announced via a spokesperson for the Ali family.
According to Us Weekly, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, comedian Billy Crystal, and newscaster Bryant Gumbel are among the names of people who will eulogize one of the world’s most influential athletes of all time.
The family spokesperson also revealed that there will be a procession through the streets of Louisville before the funeral which will be open to the public. The route of the procession will be especially significant because it “includes locations that were historically important to Muhammad,” according to a statement obtained by ESPN.
According to the article on ESPN, family spokesperson Bob Gunnell said that Muhammad Ali died at around 9 p.m on Friday, June 3, from septic shock related to unspecified natural causes.
ESPN.com reports that Ali was surrounded by his loving family when he passed away. He had been hospitalized in the Phoenix area this week due to a respiratory problem. Gunnell added that Muhammad Ali was not in pain at the time of his death and that his final hours were “solemn” but “beautiful.”
“The champ would have been proud of his family,” Gunnell said.
Hana Ali, one of Muhammad Ali’s daughters, expressed her grief for her father’s passing via Instagram.
“Our hearts are literally hurting,” her most recent Instagram post reads. “But we are so happy that our Daddy is at peace.”
Hana Ali went on to say that Muhammad Ali’s heart kept beating for about 30 minutes after his organs failed.
“No one had ever seen anything like it,” Hana wrote. “A true testament to the strength of his spirit and will. Thank you all for your love and support.”
Bill Clinton shared his condolences to the Ali family via a written statement, which was published by Us Weekly.
“Hillary and I are saddened by the passing of Muhammad Ali,” the statement said. “From the day he claimed the Olympic gold medal in 1960, boxing fans across the world knew they were seeing a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength that may never be matched again.”
“We watched him grow from the brash self-confidence of youth and success into a manhood full of religious and political convictions that led him to make tough choices and live with the consequences. Along the way we saw him courageous in the ring, inspiring to the young, compassionate to those in need, and strong and good-humored in bearing the burden of his own health challenges.”
As Us Weekly notes, Billy Crystal also shared his memories of Muhammad Ali, via Twitter.
For the greatest man I have ever known. https://t.co/OUZHVZWBHY
— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) June 3, 2016
“For the greatest man I have ever known,” the comedian tweeted
In passing, Muhammad Ali leaves behind his wife of almost 30 years, Yolonda Williams, seven daughters and two sons.
One of his more well known children, Laila Ali, opened up about his illness months before his death in an interview with People Magazine. Muhammad Ali had been living with Parkinson’s disease for decades.
“That man continues to put me in awe. He’s such a fighter, still, when at times he seems weak and not able to handle it,” she said to People.”He comes through stronger than ever. He’s still fighting regardless and I love my dad for that.”
Laila also spoke about how she felt explaining to her kids that their grandfather would not live forever.
“He knows a grandpa that can’t walk or talk anymore, and to see him next to MLK, to him a guy of the past, made him confused,” Laila said. “He was like, ‘Papa knows MLK, they were together?’ It was a surreal moment for him because it placed someone he knows now in history.”
[Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images]