Muhammad Ali, who would have turned 77 on Thursday, is being remembered by his Kentucky hometown.
According to The Washington Post, officials announced Wednesday that Louisville International Airport would be renamed Louisville Muhammad Ali International.
Ironically, Ali was afraid of flying despite traveling so far as Zaire, Africa, for his historic match against George Foreman in October 1974.
The airport will maintain its current three-letter code–SDF–because Alice International Airport in Texas uses the “ALI” code.
“Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown, and fortunately that is our great city of Louisville,” Mayor Greg Fischer said, according to the
Lonnie Ali, the boxer’s widow, released a statement regarding the airport renaming.
“I am proud that the Louisville Regional Airport Authority and the City of Louisville are supportive of changing the name of the Louisville International Airport to reflect Muhammad’s impact on the city and his love for his hometown,” she said.
“I am happy that visitors from far and wide who travel to Louisville will have another touch point to Muhammad and be reminded of his open and inclusive nature, which is reflective of our city. Muhammad was a global citizen, but he never forgot the city that gave him his start. It is a fitting testament to his legacy.”
Ali died in 2016 after a long battle with Parkinson’s syndrome.