**SCOTTSDALE, AZ (NBC News/Hotwire News) -Muhammad Ali, the silver-tongued boxer and civil rights champion who famously proclaimed himself "The Greatest" and then spent a lifetime living up to the billing, is dead.
Ali died Friday, June 3 at a Phoenix-area hospital, where he had spent the past few days being treated for respiratory complications, a family spokesman confirmed to NBC News. He was 74.
"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening,"Bob Gunnell, a family spokesman, told NBC News.
Ali had suffered for three decades from Parkinson's, a progressive neurological condition that slowly robbed him of both his verbal grace and his physical dexterity.
A funeral service is planned in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
His daughter Rasheda said early Saturday that the legend was "no longer suffering," describing him as "daddy, my best friend and hero" as well as "the greatest man that ever lived."MORE
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