From global leaders and pop stars to top athletes, the world paused to remember the legend, Muhammad Ali who dazzled with his lightning fast jabs, his equally quick wit and unwavering principles.
The famed boxer and icon died at the age of 74, after spending 32 years fighting Parkinson's disease. His name trended all over social media with hashtags such as the Greatest of All Time or #GOAT for short, and Rest in Power.
"To the African-American community, he was a black man who faced overwhelming bigotry the way he faced every opponent in the ring: fearlessly," wrote NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Facebook.
Tributes came from his once-fiercest foes in the ring.
George Foreman, the two-time heavyweight champion, who lost to Ali in the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle, mourned whom he called "the greatest piece."
Ralph Ali, Frazier & Foreman we were 1 guy. A part of me slipped away, "The greatest piece" https://t.co/xVKOc9qtub
— George Foreman (@GeorgeForeman) June 4, 2016
Admirers shared his amazing feat in the ring -- how he appeared to bob and weave without effort, how his feet moved so quickly in a cartoonish blur.
— Meredith Frost (@MeredithFrost) June 4, 2016
Videos captured how precisely and quickly Ali moved, artfully dodging dozens of blows in a matter of seconds.
His speed and athleticism seemed other worldly that even DC Comics had to show their appreciation of "a true superhero."
Today we lost a true superhero. You will be missed, Muhammad Ali. pic.twitter.com/4qocEYFfzp
— DC (@DCComics) June 4, 2016
Fans remembered him beyond his athletics skills, including the sacrifices he made to stand up against the Vietnam War draft -- even when his stance was unpopular. That steadfastness won him respect, boxing promoter Don King told CNN.
"People who didn't like him had to respect him," he said.
To African Americans, he was a hero who refused to bow in the face of racism.
— jesse Williams. (@iJesseWilliams) June 4, 2016
"I've made my share of mistakes...if I've changed even 1 life for the better, I haven't lived in vain."Muhammed Ali...RIP
U changed my life.
— Forest Whitaker (@ForestWhitaker) June 4, 2016
A giant among men, Ali displayed a greatness in talent, courage & conviction, that most of us will EVER be able to truly comprehend. #RIPAli
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) June 4, 2016
Muhammad Ali is dead at 74! A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2016
Don't judge those running for office by the eloquence of their tributes to Ali, but how they would treat a 20 year old version of him now.
— Tom Fletcher (@TFletcher) June 4, 2016
It was clear that the once-controversial boxer had been embraced into the mainstream.
Ali was a man who was proud of his religion and had changed his name to reflect his faith.
- Kamau Bell, host of United Shades of American tweeted to "also remember that he was a Muslim."
Now's a great time to preemptively remind everyone who is gonna be celebrating Muhammad Ali tomorrow to also remember that he was a Muslim.
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) June 4, 2016
We are mourning Muhammad Ali. A Black man & a Muslim. Two things America fears. But tonight, we unite in profound sadness. #RIPAli
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) June 4, 2016