Houston reacts to the death of Muhammad Ali

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HOUSTON, TX - The world mourns as we say good bye to a humanitarian, boxing icon and above all a legend. Cassius Clay, aka Muhammad Ali, aka, “The Greatest”, lost the 32-year fight with Parkinson’s Disease and passed away in an Arizona hospital at the age of 74.

Reverend Ray Martin not only remembers Ali as a fighter but a friend. The good Reverend had his moments sparring with the champ, even knocking Ali down.

Muhammad Ali, the name that will live in hearts of fans both in and outside of the ring. Rest in peace “Greatest,” rest in peace.

As Mrs. Lonnie Ali looks on, President George W. Bush embraces three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world Muhammad Ali after presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005, during ceremonies at the White House. White House photo by Paul Morse, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum/NARA.

As Mrs. Lonnie Ali looks on, President George W. Bush embraces three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world Muhammad Ali after presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005, during ceremonies at the White House. White House photo by Paul Morse, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum/NARA.

Statement by President George W. Bush on the passing of Muhammad Ali 

Laura and I are saddened by the death of Muhammad Ali, The Greatest of All Time. I gave Ali the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and wondered aloud how he stayed so pretty throughout so many fights. "It probably had to do with his beautiful soul. He was a fierce fighter and he's a man of peace, just like Odessa and Cassius Clay, Sr., believed their son could be."

Muhammad Ali was an iconic and historic figure who thrilled, entertained, influenced, and inspired millions.  Americans will always be proud to have been in his corner and called him one of our own.

Laura and I send our heartfelt condolences to Muhammad Ali's family and friends.