Louisville on Friday bid a final farewell to their favourite son, sending off in style a man who was born 74 years ago in the segregated suburbs, and was buried in a ceremony befitting the giant he became.
Muhammad Ali had planned his funeral in detail, requesting the presence of Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal, Will Smith and boxing’s greatest – alongside his family and 18,000 fans.
He also wanted guarantees that all faiths would be represented, hence a series of powerful speeches and performances from rabbis, a Catholic priest, Buddhist monks and a Native American chief.
“Muhammad indicated that when his time came, he wanted to use his death as a teaching method for the world,” said his wife Lonnie, speaking with assurance and poise that defied her enormous loss.
“He had grown up…