Muhammad Ali’s Body Returned to Louisville

The three-time heavyweight boxing champion died Friday of septic shock

Muhammad Ali-Kentucky Home
AP

Muhammad Ali's body has been returned to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where he'll be laid to rest in a city grieving the loss of its favorite son.

An airplane carrying the boxing great's body landed in Louisville on Sunday afternoon. 

Family spokesman Bob Gunnell says Ali was accompanied by his wife, Lonnie, and other family members and friends. He says the body was taken to a local funeral home. 

The three-time heavyweight boxing champion died Friday of septic shock. He was 74.

Ali was hospitalized in the Phoenix area with respiratory problems last week. 

People began flocking to Ali's boyhood home in Louisvillen to pay tribute to the boxing great, leaving flowers, balloons and boxing gloves around the marker designating it a historical site. 

The small pink home on Grand Avenue was recently renovated and turned into a museum. 

"We were all so proud of him," said Dorothy Poynter, who grew up with Ali in the neighborhood. 

Another memorial has grown outside the Muhammad Ali Center, a downtown museum that promotes his humanitarian ideals and showcases his remarkable career. 

Andrew Hale took his 3-year-old daughter, Chloe, there on Sunday to explain to her who Ali was. 

He said: "He was strong, courageous, and I hope I can be like that one day and just show love to my daughter like he showed his. ... She asked me where he is and I said he was in heaven."

A public memorial service is planned Friday in Louisville.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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