Bill Clinton to give eulogy at Ali’s funeral

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Former President Bill Clinton plans on delivering a eulogy for legendary boxer Muhammad Ali’s funeral next week.

“We haven’t confirmed all eulogists at this time, but eulogies will be led by President Bill Clinton, Bryant Gumbel and Billy Crystal,” a spokesman for Ali’s family said during a Saturday press conference, according to the Washington Examiner.

{mosads}The Washington Examiner on Saturday reported Ali’s funeral ceremony is scheduled for this Thursday in Louisville, Ky., the boxer’s birthplace and home town.

Ali died on late Friday near Phoenix, Ariz., following respiratory problems worsened by his longtime battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 74.

The Washington Examiner said Ali’s ceremony will be interfaith, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) already confirmed as a Mormon representative.

Ali famously announced he had joined the Nation of Islam in 1964, one day after defeating the heavily favored Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title.

Then known as Cassius Clay, he publicly renounced his “slave name” and became immortalized as Ali.

Bill Clinton and his wife, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, said late Friday they would miss the sporting icon, noting his triumphs both in and out of the ring. 

“We watched him grow from the brash self-confidence of youth and success into a manhood full of religious and political convictions that led him to make tough choices and live with the consequences,” the Clintons said in a statement.

“Along the way we saw him courageous in the ring, inspiring to the young, compassionate to those in need and strong and good-humored in bearing the burden of his own health challenges. Our hearts go out to Lonnie, his children and his entire family.”

Tags Bill Clinton Boxing celebrities Hillary Clinton Orrin Hatch Sports

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