The Obamas won’t be present at Muhammad Ali‘s funeral in Kentucky on Friday, opting instead to attend First Daughter Malia‘s high school graduation at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the White House says.
According to the BBC, the President offered his condolences in a phone call with Ali’s widow, Lonnie. The President and First Lady wrote a letter that will be given to Ali’s family by White House Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett, TIME reports.
The 74-year-old iconic prize-fighter died Friday of septic shock and will be laid to rest in his hometown of Louisville. A public memorial service will be held at the KFC Yum! Center. NBC News reports that Ali meticulously planned and signed off on every detail of his funeral in a ledger called, “The Book.”
Ali’s death rang out across the world as fans and admirers championed his athleticism, character, and contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
Dignitaries such as the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and King Abdullah of Jordan will attend the service. Former President Bill Clinton will eulogize Ali. Actor Will Smith and former boxer Lennox Lewis will serve as pallbearers, along with a host of family and friends, The Daily Beast writes.
Muhammad Ali’s Life in Pictures
1. Training, 1960Source:Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images 1 of 19
2. Posing With Legends, 1960Source:The Ring Magazine/Getty Images 2 of 19
3. Family Man, 1965Source:Stanley Weston/Getty Images 3 of 19
4. Predicts Five, 1963Source:Kent Gavin/Keystone/Getty Images 4 of 19
5. Married Man, 1963Source:Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images 5 of 19
6. Louth Mouth, 1964Source:Harry Benson/Getty Images 6 of 19
7. Down Goes Liston, 1965Source:Hulton Archive/Getty Images 7 of 19
8. In Living Color, 1966Source:Marka/UIG via Getty Images 8 of 19
9. Rumble in the Jungle, 1974Source:STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images 9 of 19
10. Man of the Press, 1974Source:The Ring Magazine/Getty Images 10 of 19
11. Muhammad Ali Day, 1974Source:The Ring Magazine/Getty Images 11 of 19
12. Taunting Foreman, 1974Source:Agence France Presse/Getty Images 12 of 19
13. The Greatest, 1977Source:British Lion Film Corporation/Getty Images 13 of 19
14. The King and The Champ, 1977Source:Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images 14 of 19
15. Ali’s Girls, 1978Source:Frank Tewkesbury/Evening Standard/Getty Images 15 of 19
16. Ali Taunts Holmes, 1980Source:The Ring Magazine/Getty Images 16 of 19
17. Friends Out of the RingSource:SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images 17 of 19
18. Humanitarian Award, 2002Source:M. Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images 18 of 19
19. Like Father Like Daughter, 2002Source:Scott Halleran/Getty Images 19 of 19
Why The President & First Lady Will Miss Muhammad Ali’s Funeral was originally published on newsone.com