Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali has died at age 74, according to a special report from ABC News. Ali was reported to be in grave condition Thursday afternoon at a Phoenix-based hospital battling a respiratory illness.

Nicknamed “The Greatest,” Ali is widely considered to be the greatest boxer of all-time. Standing at an imposing 6’3″ with prodigious power and lightning quick feet, Ali was truly one of a kind. The Louisville Lip was the original trash talker, but he made sure to back it up by floating like a butterfly, and stinging like a bee.

Ali’s panache and brash, politically incorrect stances put him under heavy scrutiny during the early stages of the turbulent civil rights movement and the Vietnam War. Ali sacrificed three years in the prime of his career to take a stance as a conscientious objector. After being publicly vilified for three years, Ali was vindicated by the Supreme Court’s ruling that Ali’s religious, anti-war stance was valid. Over his career, Ali won 56 of his 61 fights, a staggering 37 of which were by knockout. Ali also brought home a gold medal for the United States in the 1960 Rome Olympics.

In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a disease that insidiously sapped Ali of his health. Parkinson’s disease can lead to breathing difficulties in its latter stages, which has caused some to surmise that Ali’s death was a byproduct of the disease.

Ali had been married four different times and had nine children, including retired professional boxer, Laila Ali. Laila Ali, 38, picked up where her father left off, winning all 24 of her professional matches, 21 of which were by knockout.

Contact Corey Chaconas at corey.c@thebaynet.com