His fans knew it and he knew it. Muhammad Ali called himself the greatest, his fans called him #GOAT.

The 74-year-old boxing champ who died Friday after being admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital for respiratory issues was never shy about the label. From his 1960 Olympic gold medal to his 1964 World Heavyweight Champion win against Sonny Liston to his 1996 lighting of the Olympic torch, he symbolized greatness throughout his career.

And it wasn’t just in the ring. Ali took on political roles starting in 1990 when he met Saddam Hussein to negotiate the release of American hostages in Iraq and Kuwait. In 2005, former President George W. Bush awarded Ali with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Read more…

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Muhammad Ali’s greatest moments, in photos