PHOENIX (AP) - Tributes to Muhammad Ali rolled in from around the world Saturday, just hours after his death.
"The Greatest" had been hospitalized for respiratory problems Thursday, and news spread that this illness was serious. Late Friday, his family confirmed that he had died.
Reaction came in from around the world of sports, entertainment and politics.
President Barack Obama says Muhammad Ali "shook up the world and the world is better for it."
Obama says he keeps a pair of Ali's gloves on display in his private study, just off the Oval Office and under the famous photograph of the young champion "roaring like a lion over fallen Sonny Liston."
In a statement, Obama said that Ali "fought for what was right," stood with Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela "when it was hard" and "spoke out when others wouldn't."
Obama says even as Ali's physical powers were in decline, the boxing great "became an even more powerful force for peace and reconciliation around the world."
The president says Parkinson's disease may have "ravaged" Ali's body, but it "couldn't take the spark from his eyes."
Former President Bill Clinton, who awarded Ali the Presidential Citizens Medal, mourned the death of the three-time heavyweight champion.
"Hillary and I are saddened by the passing of Muhammad Ali," Clinton said in a statement. "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."
A memorial service took place Saturday morning in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali's hometown.
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