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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2005, 17:37 GMT
In pictures: Ali 'The Greatest'

Muhammad Ali throws a jab for photographers at the premiere of the film 'Collateral" at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, Monday, Aug 2, 2004

The extraordinary life of Muhammad Ali is being celebrated by a new museum in his hometown, Louisville, Kentucky.

Ali throws a punch at Joe Frazier during their bout at Madison Square Garden in New York, 28 Jan, 1974.

His charisma and legendary speed in the ring helped turn him into one of the most famous faces on the planet.

Referee Zack Clayton counts out George Foreman after Ali knocked him down in the eighth round of their Rumble in the Junge bout in Kinshasa, Zaire, October 29, 1974

The 'Louisville Lip' retired in 1981 after fighting some of the most famous bouts in boxing history.

Ali gives a news conference at the Savoy Hotel

He has also been a political figure for many years, converting to Islam, standing against Vietnam and fighting discrimination.

This photo for Esquire was taken in 1968, at a time when Ali was banned from boxing for refusing to fight in Vietnam.

This photo for Esquire was taken in 1968, at a time when Ali was banned from boxing for refusing to fight in Vietnam.

Michaeli Parkinson interviews Muhammad Ali in 1981

In an infamous 1974 interview, Ali railed at the BBC's Michael Parkinson. Here, in 1981, he looks more relaxed.

Ali recieves an honorary Olympic Gold at 1996 Olympics.

An honorary Olympic gold in 1996. Ali said he'd thrown his own in the Ohio River in disgust at racism, but really he had lost it.

Muhammad Ali lights the Olympic flame during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games opening ceremony in Atlanta

He had brought tears to the eyes of many as he overcame his Parkinson's Disease tremors to light the Olympic flame.

Ali recieves Sports Illustrateds 20th Century Sportsman of the Century Award

Among his many honours was the Sports Illustrated's 20th Century Sportsman of the Century Award.

Ali is awarded America's highest civilian honour by President George Bush.

But he has also been recognised for his charitable endeavours, and work as an ambassador for peace.

Laila Ali (right) punches Crystal Brave Heart Arcand

His boxing legacy lives on, however. Ali's daughter Laila (r) became a professional fighter in 1999.

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