Muhammed Ali, who called himself "The Greatest" throughout his two decade-long boxing career, died late Friday night in a Phoenix-area hospital.

He was born Cassius Clay in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky.  After winning many Golden Gloves titles as a youth, Clay became the Olympic gold medalist in the light heavyweight division in the 1960 Summer Games in Rome.

After winning the heavyweight title for the first time when he defeated Sonny Liston in Miami in 1964, Clay changed his name to Muhammed Ali and joined the Nation of Islam.

Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title in 1967 when he refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army to go fight in the Vietnam War due to religious reasons.  He didn't become champion again for seven years.

Ali is best known for his trilogy with Joe Frazier, and for "The Rumble in the Jungle" with George Foreman in 1974.  He won the heavyweight championship on three different occasions.

Ali dealt with many health problems in later years, including Parkinson's disease.  And he lived for several years in southwestern Michigan.

Muhammed Ali, "The Greatest" was 74 years old.

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