Muhammad Ali’s Daughter and Main Line Resident: “He was the Greatest”
On the eve of Muhammad Ali’s funeral, his daughter Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer spoke about her father and his final hours in an interview with her longtime friend Bryan Monroe, a professor at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication for philly.com.
In a touching tribute to her father, Ali-Wertheimer talked about what it was like to grow up with a legend, his relationship with her son Jacob, and his final hours in a hospital surrounded by family.
“One night, James Brown was in Atlantic City and we were going to go, but my sister gave me some lotion that caused me to have an allergic reaction, so I couldn’t, she recalled affectionately. “My dad stayed home with me and sang James Brown songs with me and danced all night.”
Talking about the relationship between her father and her son, Ali-Wertheimer did not hide her pride. The former world heavyweight champion was especially close to teenage Jacob, making sure to come to his bar mitzvah in Philadelphia four years ago.
As the champ lay in bed surrounded by his entire family, Jacob never left his side, not to eat, not to drink, or even sit down. When the time came, the champion had every single member of his family there.
“He was in absolutely no pain whatsoever,” said Ali-Wertheimer. “He was completely comfortable.”
What would Ali-Wertheimer like people to remember about her father?
“He was the greatest. Not just as a public persona who spoke up for his beliefs on top of achieving athletic greatness, but as a family man, in those personal, intimate ways that only someone’s child could know. We’ve been so incredibly blessed.”
Read the entire interview at Philly.com here.
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