Almost immediately, people around the world reacted to the death of Muhammad Ali.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday that Ali “shook up the world, and the world is better for it.” The president keeps a pair of boxing gloves once worn by Ali in his private office at the White House.
Obama compared Ali to other civil rights leaders of his era. He said Ali stood with Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela in fighting for what was right.
On his Twitter account, Obama posted a picture of himself beneath a photo of Ali standing over Sonny Liston in 1964. “Rest in peace, Champ,” Obama tweeted.
Former President Bill Clinton paid tribute in another tweet: “Goodbye my friend. You were Great in so many ways.”
Clinton also issued a statement from himself and his wife, presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying: “From the day he claimed the Olympic gold medal in 1960, boxing fans across the world knew they were seeing a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength that may never be matched again.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wrote, “A truly great champion and a wonderful guy. He will be missed by all!"
At the U.N., Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "The United Nations is grateful to have benefited from the life and work of one of the past century's great humanitarians and advocates for understanding and peace."
British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted, "Muhammad Ali was not just a champion in the ring - he was a champion of civil rights, and a role model for so many people."
Paul McCartney wrote on his website, "The world has lost a truly great man. Love Paul."
Brazil’s Pele, posted on Twitter and Instagram: “The sporting universe has just suffered a big loss. ... The sadness is overwhelming.”
Another famous football player, Argentina’s Diego Maradona, wrote on Facebook: “The best of all time has left... How can I not feel this loss... Surely he left because he could no longer give us more happiness. My condolences to his family.”