President Bill Clinton leans on former world boxing heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali on Oct. 28, 2000.

The family of boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali will celebrate the beloved icon Thursday with a private ceremony in Louisville, Ky. There will also be a service on Friday in Ali’s hometown, one that will be open to all, according to a family spokesman.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted information about the public event Saturday, saying that the service will begin at 2 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center, which has a maximum capacity of 22,000 people. The mayor also said that Ali’s hearse would be driven through the streets of Louisville before a private burial at Cave Hill, the city's largest cemetery.


Three eulogists have been confirmed for the ceremony so far: former President Bill Clinton, comedian Billy Crystal and broadcast journalist Bryant Gumbel. The family is expected to announce more speakers in the coming days.

“I was honored to award him the Presidential Citizens Medal at the White House, to watch him light the Olympic flame, and to forge a friendship with a man who, through triumph and trials, became even greater than his legend,” Bill Clinton said in a statement.

The Hill reports that the ceremony for Ali will be interfaith, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) set to represent Mormonism at the event.


According to NBC News, Ali’s official cause of death was “septic shock due to unspecified natural causes.” His spokesperson said Saturday that the boxing champion did not pass until his family was at his bedside, where they remained for about a day before Ali died at 9:10 p.m. local time Friday. He was 74 years old.

Read more at The Hill and NBC News.

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