Muhammad Ali’s daughter Laila Ali spoke to the Today show about her father’s death and how seeing him live with Parkinson’s disease affected the Ali family.
“I personally have been sad for a long time. My father has been struggling with Parkinson’s disease for many years, and it wasn’t easy to watch him suffer through the years. So, knowing that he’s not suffering anymore is what gives me comfort,” she said. “I’ve prepared mentally for many years, that obviously one day I was going to lose my father, and that time has come. And I think that the whole world is sad. I don’t feel alone. It’s not just our family, it’s the whole world.”
Ali had been suffering from Parkinson’s for the last 32 years, but he didn’t let it slow him down. Laila Ali spoke about her father’s immense confidence and how she’s acquired it as well.
“It was passed down to him from somewhere, but I think a lot of that comes from just having someone in your life that puts that idea in your head that you can do whatever it is that you wanna do,” she said. “My parents both did it for me. There’s also parents that tell their kids that they can’t do something, and they put that fear in their head. So I think once you go out and you’re willing to work hard and put in the work and you do what you thought you could do, it gives you more confidence to keep going. And that’s what holds a lot of people back in life.”
It’s been several years since Laila Ali retired from professional boxing, and at 38 years old, she has a lifetime of memories of her dad. She said that she is glad he made an impact on other people’s lives, too.