Ali muralJeff Young |

Ali mural, E. Broadway in Louisville

People across the world are mourning the loss of Muhammad Ali.

The boxing legend and humanitarian died Friday. He was 74.

In Louisville, people are paying homage to Ali at his boyhood home and the Muhammad Ali Center by bringing flowers and lighting candles. We asked them to share some of the moments when they were moved by the man many call “The Greatest.”

Listen to the audio in the player above.

Mary Traylor, who grew up down the street from Ali near 33rd Street:

“Muhammad Ali used to run down the street shadow boxing — the little skinny thing.”

William Tolbert, who was four years behind Ali at Central High School:

“He used to run to school from his house on 32nd and Grand and I thought that was amazing, to run that far.”

ali houseJ. Tyler Franklin |

Ali’s boyhood home in Louisville.


Lawrence Tolbert, who was two years behind Ali at Central High School:

“In the school he’d go around hitting on lockers and he’d go around talking about how he’s going to be the next champ or whatever and a lot of people didn’t believe him.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer:

“I was six years old when he beat Sonny Liston and I remember the buzz in the my dad and his friends.”

Congressman John Yarmuth:

“Muhammad came through the airport and started fighting with my son, mocking, trying to take his hamburger away from him, jabbing and sparring, and it was just another example of what I’ve seen so many times, in that nobody has ever gotten more pleasure in making a child smile than Muhammad Ali.”

ali memorial

Cliff Warfield Sr., who now lives a block from Ali’s boyhood home:

“When he lost to (Ken) Norton on Wide World of Sports, that was a dark day. It was a Saturday, I remember getting a whooping because I didn’t want to go to church the next day, that’s Ali.”

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.