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

June 4, 2016
"Laura and I are saddened by the death of Muhammad Ali, The Greatest of All Time. [...]"

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE -- 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.


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Photo caption: 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.

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Photo caption: 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.

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Photo caption: Mrs. Lonnie Ali looks on as President George W. Bush shakes hands with 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.