By Ariel Scotti / January 17, 2019

Louisville Airport Renamed for Muhammad Ali on His Birthday

Ali would have turned 77 on Thursday.

Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over Sonny Liston and taunts him to get up during their title fight. Ali knocked Liston out in one minute in the first round during their bout at the Central Maine Youth Center in Lewiston, Maine.

Muhammad Ali‘s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, will honor the late boxing great by renaming its airport after him on Thursday — what would have been his 77th birthday.

The Louisville Regional Airport Authority’s board voted to change the name to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. Ali died in 2016.

Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, said in a news release from the board that she is proud of the name change. She said although Ali was a “global citizen,” he never forgot his hometown.

The decision to change the airport’s name was influenced by a report that found Ali’s name recognition is greater than the city of Louisville’s. The city’s Mayor, Greg Fischer, said he’s organizing a group to work toward celebrating Ali’s Louisville ties more broadly.

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