Louisville in Kentucky is set to rename its airport after late boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who was born in the city.
The announcement came just a day before Ali would have turned 77. The boxing legend who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan 17, 1942, died in 2016 at the age of 74.
The new name of the airport will be Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport, officials announced on Wednesday.
In a statement posted on social media, the airport said its board “voted meaningfully” to recognise his legacy as a Louisville native by renaming the airport in his honour. The airport’s three-letter location identifier – SDF – will not change
“Muhammad became one of the most well-known people to ever walk the Earth and has left a legacy of humanitarianism and athleticism that has inspired billions of people,” said Mayor Greg Fischer in a press release from the board. “It important that we, as a city, further champion The Champ’s legacy, and the airport renaming is a wonderful next step.”
Lonnie Ali, his widow, said she was proud of the board’s decision.
“Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot the city that gave him his start,” she said in the statement.
Ali died at the age of 74, after a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was buried in a private ceremony in Louisville, after his coffin passed by thousands of well-wishers in the city’s streets.