Muhammad Ali laid to rest in Louisville, remembered in Chicago

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Friday, June 10, 2016
Muhammad Ali remembered in Louisville, Chicago
Three-time heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali was laid to rest in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky Friday afternoon.

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WLS) -- Chicago and the rest of the world said goodbye to three-time heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali as he was laid to rest in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky Friday afternoon.

PHOTOS: Muhammad Ali laid to rest

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Muhammad Ali's daughter Marylum Ali speaks during his memorial service, Friday, June 10, 2016, in Louisville, Ky.
David Goldman/AP

After a funeral procession that made its way down Muhammad Ali Drive, the greatest of all time was laid to rest in Louisville.

Over 15,000 people packed the KFC Yum! Center to witness a memorial service that was attended by over 300 dignitaries, including President Bill Clinton, who eulogized the Kentucky native.

Bill Clinton delivers eulogy at Muhammad Ali's funeral

"I think he decided before he could have possibly have worked it all out, and before fate and time could work their will on him, he decided that he would never be dis-empowered," Clinton said.

Rev. Jesse Jackson had his own thoughts about the greatest, whom he spent many hours and days with.

"I think the one that stands out the most is Dr. King and him and I were in the room in New York on April 4, 1967, working for Dr. King on his speech. Ali and Jim Brown walk in the room... and they shared war stories, so to speak," Jackson said.

"I try to live every day of my life by the inspiration, by the confidence, by the demeanor that he gave me and instilled in me," said Jeff Young, Ali's friend.

"It's so emotional just being in Louisville, coming into Ali Center and just seeing the banners," said Bill Seigel, a documentary filmmaker.

Chicagoan Valerie Jarrett presented a message from President Obama.

"Muhammad Ali will always be America. What a man, what a spirit. What a joyous, mightiful champion," Jarrett said.

Natasha Mundkur delivers eulogy at Muhammad Ali's funeral

"I smile to recognize that he's not really gone. He lives in you, and he lives in me. And he lives in every person that he has touched in every corner of this world," Natasha Mundkur said.

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Young heavyweight fighter Cassius Clay is seen at City Parks Gym in New York, Feb. 8, 1962.


In Chicago, where Ali once lived, thousands watched the events in Louisville remembering their favorite moments of his life.

"It brings back a lot of positive things and great times that we shared together," said Jacquelyn Tolliver.

Tolliver said she shared a warm, three-year friendship with Ali when he lived in Chicago during the 1970s.

"I would always be aware of what was going on with him, but now this is final. It's just very sad. Very, very disturbing," Tolliver said.

Tolliver experienced Ali's generosity firsthand. She has copies of his checks to her, signed by The Champ himself.

And when it came to money, Ali's long-time barber and long-time friend, Abdul Karriem Shabazz, saw it all. His Chicago Heights barber shop is dotted with their pictures.

"Muhammad Ali, he gave away so much money. He never counted what he gave away because he never wanted it to be known that he was giving money like that," Shabazz said.

As Shabazz and his customers watched Ali's funeral, and said it reminds them of his time in Chicago.

"When I see everyday people along the route paying their respect to Muhammad Ali, it was the same feeling when he came to the Bud Billiken Parade for over 15 years and served as our grand marshal," Eugene Scott said.

They remember what The Champ would say about this very moment.

"And he would always say, the good deeds you do in this life is the small down payment on your room in paradise. That's just the way he lived his life," Shabazz said. "And I would like to think that's where he's at now."


Lonnie Ali:

Lonnie Ali, Muhammad Ali's widow delivers eulogy.

Myrium Ali:

Myrium Ali delivered a eulogy at her father's funeral Friday.

Bryant Gumbel:

"The honor that Ali has done me today, as he goes to his grave, is one that I will take to mine. God bless you, Champ."

Billy Crystal:

Billy Crystal delivers eulogy at Muhammad Ali funeral.

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