Muhammad Ali Dead at 74: 10 of the Boxing Legend’s Greatest Quotes

Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74 on Friday, June 3, but the legendary heavyweight champion will forever live on through his words of wisdom.

The sports legend, who died at a Phoenix hospital after being treated for respiratory complications, was as well-known for his quick wit and eloquence as he was for his physical prowess.

Here, we’ve rounded up 10 of his most memorable quotes.

1. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see. Now you see me, now you don't. George [Foreman] thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

2. “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

Muhammed Ali
Heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali training in his gym on May 21, 1965. Harry Benson/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

3. "I should be a postage stamp. That's the only way I'll ever get licked."

4. "Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong."

5. "I'm the most recognized and loved man that ever lived 'cause there weren't no satellites when Jesus and Moses were around, so people far away in the villages didn't know about them."

6. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

7. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

8. “Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

9. “Live every day as if it were your last because someday you're going to be right.”

10. "I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was."

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!

Close popup

Welcome to In Motion

Bring photos to life with Us Weekly's exciting new mobile experience!

What's In Motion? Tell me more

What's In Motion?

Go back

How to Use In Motion

What's In Motion? Tell me more