The Obamas won’t be present at Muhammad Ali‘s funeral in Kentucky on Friday, opting instead to attend First Daughter Malia‘s high school graduation at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the White House says.
According to the BBC, the President offered his condolences in a phone call with Ali’s widow, Lonnie. The President and First Lady wrote a letter that will be given to Ali’s family by White House Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett, TIME reports.
The 74-year-old iconic prize-fighter died Friday of septic shock and will be laid to rest in his hometown of Louisville. A public memorial service will be held at the KFC Yum! Center. NBC News reports that Ali meticulously planned and signed off on every detail of his funeral in a ledger called, “The Book.”
Ali’s death rang out across the world as fans and admirers championed his athleticism, character, and contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
Dignitaries such as the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and King Abdullah of Jordan will attend the service. Former President Bill Clinton will eulogize Ali. Actor Will Smith and former boxer Lennox Lewis will serve as pallbearers, along with a host of family and friends, The Daily Beast writes.
Muhammad Ali’s Life in Pictures
1. Training, 19601 of 19
2. Posing With Legends, 19602 of 19
3. Family Man, 19653 of 19
4. Predicts Five, 19634 of 19
5. Married Man, 19635 of 19
6. Louth Mouth, 19646 of 19
7. Down Goes Liston, 19657 of 19
8. In Living Color, 19668 of 19
9. Rumble in the Jungle, 19749 of 19
10. Man of the Press, 197410 of 19
11. Muhammad Ali Day, 197411 of 19
12. Taunting Foreman, 197412 of 19
13. The Greatest, 197713 of 19
14. The King and The Champ, 197714 of 19
15. Ali’s Girls, 197815 of 19
16. Ali Taunts Holmes, 198016 of 19
17. Friends Out of the Ring17 of 19
18. Humanitarian Award, 200218 of 19
19. Like Father Like Daughter, 200219 of 19
Why The President & First Lady Will Miss Muhammad Ali’s Funeral was originally published on newsone.com