A Salute to the Legacy of Muhammad Ali

(Last Updated On: June 4, 2016)

Empower Magazine salutes the legacy of Muhammad Ali and the indomitable courage and spirit, exhibited in and out of the ring, that made him “The Greatest.”

Born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1942, Muhammad Ali became one of the greatest sporting figures of the 20th century and is regarded by many as one of the greatest boxers in history.  Over the course of his professional career, he won 56 bouts and was the first boxer to capture the heavyweight title three times. His unmatched bravado, one of a kind humor, and humanitarian spirit left an indelible impression on the hearts and minds of people across the globe.

Below is a selection of tributes compiled from social media pouring in online from those mourning his passing and celebrating his extra-ordinary life and legacy.


We are deeply saddened to share that Muhammad Ali has passed away from respiratory problems due to complications from Parkinson’s. He was a pioneer, a fighter and a worldwide inspiration. – National Parkinson Disease Facebook post


Ali, the G-O-A-T. A giant, an inspiration, a man of peace, a warrior for the cure. Thank you. – actor, Michael J. Fox on Twitter at @realmikefox


This is the Muhammad Ali who inspires us today — the man who believes real success comes when we rise after we fall; who has shown us that through undying faith and steadfast love, each of us can make this world a better place. He is, and always will be, the champ. – excerpt from 2010 Special for USA TODAY Sports article by President Barack Obama on Muhammad Ali


Ali, Frazier & Foreman we were 1 guy. A part of me slipped away, “The greatest piece” George Foreman on Twitter


Muhammad Ali was the first person that planted the seed in my head to be great, I ain’t made it yet but he put me on the road to at least try…. Most relevant athlete to have ever lived. – Steve Harvey on Facebook


muhammad ali photo on beyonce site

Credit: Beyonce.com


We don’t have to be afraid because you said it, lived it, and became it.
We don’t have to be lost because you taught us to make our own path and carve out our own roads. We don’t have to read the rule book, because you taught us to make our own.
Yet, I will study harder.
Solange on Facebook


Muhammad Ali’s fearlessness showed not only in the ring but in his willingness to stand for what he believed in – no matter the cost. He stood tall, unafraid and unashamed of displaying his immense talents on the world’s largest stages.
He floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee and laid out many an insurmountable foe. We won’t soon forget his cultural impact and importance at a time that heroes were in short supply.TD Jakes (Ministries) on Facebook


As a child, I was inspired by the way he moved in the ring, but the man he was outside the ring has inspired me even more. Ali stood on his principles at a time when many people in our country were telling him not to, and for that display of courage, we are all grateful. He represented the best of what makes us Americans—courage, confidence, grace and humility. His picture hangs in my office as a daily reminder that even when it is difficult to do so, we must all do what we believe in, and we must do what is right. Last night the world lost its Champion. May he rest in peace. –
Representative Elijah E. Cummings


During my more than 50 years in the public eye, I have met hundreds of renowned celebrities, artists, athletes, and world leaders. But only a handful embodied the self-sacrificing and heroic qualities that defined my friend and mentor, Muhammad Ali. A master of self-promotion, he declared early in his boxing career, I am the greatest! This kind of boasting enraged many people, just as he’d hoped, ensuring a large audience that just wanted to see this upstart boy taught a lesson. But it was Muhammad who taught the lesson because, as he once said, It’s not bragging if you can back it up. And back it up, he did. Again and again. And not just in the ring. – excerpts from Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s In Memoriam tribute to Muhammad Ali on Facebook


You shook up the World!
My Mentor & My Friend.
You changed my Life.
Rest in Peace.
-Will Smith on Facebook

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A Salute to the Legacy of Muhammad Ali