Like a tidal wave, family, friends and fans of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali shared their remorse for his passing on social media.
The 74-year-old was considered one of boxing’s greatest athletes —not just for his impeccable record— but for his activism, strength, and resilience. Earlier in the week, Ali was checked into a Phoenix-area hospital, where he was being treated for respiratory complications stemming from Parkinson’s disease that he suffered from for three decades.
“The Greatest Man that ever lived,” Rasheda Ali, his daughter, tweeted. “Daddy my best friend and my hero you are no longer suffering & now in a better place.”
A gamut of celebrities shared their love for the legend and their connection to him. One day before Ali’s death, boxer Manny Pacquiao tweeted, “Please keep @MuhammadAli in your thoughts and prayers. With God, all things are possible.”
Quincy Jones said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE: “RIP to the greatest of all time, our brother and friend Muhammad Ali. A man of character, faith, dignity, humanity and professionalism in your craft, you embodied the best of us as human beings. The world will miss your presence, but we’ll celebrate your spirit forever.”
Others to share their love were Mike Tyson, Oscar de la Hoya, MC Lyte, Jennifer Hudson, Spike Lee and many more.
Even the United Nations had kind words for the man known as the Louisville Lip: “As UN Messenger of Peace @MuhammadAli spent time outside the ring advocating for ppl in need,” they said.
Thirty nine years ago, when asked by a child what he would do upon retiring, Ali gave one of his most poignant speeches. “We all gonna die soon and if you live to be say 125 years old, which we don’t do, we don’t have but about 80 years on earth,” he said.
“This is a test to see where we will spend our life, heaven or hell; this is not the life now. Your real self is inside you, because your body gets old. Some of you go to look at the mirror and you don’t have teeth, your hair is leaving you, and your bodies are getting tired. But your soul and your spirit never die, that’s gonna live forever. So your body is just housing your soul and spirit. So God is testing us on how we treat each other and how we live to see where our real home will be in heaven. So this physical stuff don’t last for so long.”
A funeral service is being planned in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
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