Muhammad Ali, largely considered the greatest boxer of the 20th century, passed away last night. He was 74.
Ali had long been suffering from Parkinson's disease and spent recent years out of the public eye. But all the same, his legend is undeniable, for actions both in and out of the ring.
Over the course of his career, Ali won and lost the global heavyweight title multiple times, beating other hallowed boxing figures like Joe Louis, Sonny Liston, George Foreman and dozens of others.
Ali refused to be drafted into the U.S. military on pacifist and political grounds during the Vietnam War, and his embrace of the Nation of Islam made him a pariah among America's white elite. With the aid of black political figures, he returned to the ring in 1970, but not until after giving up more than three years of his athletic prime.
For more on Ali's life and legacy, here are a few good places to start today:
- Muhammad Ali Dies at 74: Titan of Boxing and the 20th Century — Robert Lipsyte, the New York Times
- Embracing the Greatest — Vann R. Newkirk II, the Atlantic
- Muhammad Ali: Why they called him 'The Greatest' and why I called him my friend — Jerry Izenberg, the Star-Ledger
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.