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Boxing Icon Muhammad Ali Dead — Inside His Final Moments

Muhammad Ali Dead Obituary Lifetime Accomplishments
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Jun. 4 2016, Updated 2:19 p.m. ET

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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has died, has learned, just days after suddenly being hospitalized with respiratory issues.

The 74-year-old Louisville, Kentucky native passed away among family and friends in a Phoenix-area hospital where he was being treated after having difficulty breathing this week. He had also suffered Parkinson's for three decades.

"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening," Bob Gunnell, a family spokesman, told NBC News.

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Ali leaves behind an iconic legacy.

Born as Cassius Clay, he won an Olympic gold medal as a light-heavyweight in 1960. Four years later, he became the World Heavyweight Champion after knocking out Sonny Liston in the match's seventh round.

During the same year, he converted and joined the Nation of Islam, changing his name to Muhammad Ali.

Along with his boxing mastery, the famous fighter was also a social activist who lost the esteemed championship title after he defied the U.S. Army draft during the Vietnam War in 1967.

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In 2005, President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Amazingly, the father-of-nine remained active in advocating for social justices despite his longtime battle with Parkinson's disease.

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