Ali, a Louisville native, died in 2016 after a long battle with Parkinson's syndrome.
Louisville International Airport will be undergoing a name change in honor of legendary heavyweight boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali, the Louisville Courier Journal reported on Wednesday.
According to the Courier Journal, board members unanimously approved Mayor Greg Fischer's motion to rename the airport Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport. The SDF code will not change.
The city began considering renaming the airport in November 2017. A petition calling for it to be named after Ali, a Louisville native, was submitted to Fischer and the airport board in 2016.
"Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown," Fischer wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. "Today's decision to change @flylouisville's name to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is a major piece of a broader effort to celebrate those deep ties."
Muhammad Ali belonged to the world, but he only had one hometown. Today’s decision to change @flylouisville’s name to Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport is a major piece of a broader effort to celebrate those deep ties. pic.twitter.com/mxXyX4pILl— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) January 16, 2019
Ali died in 2016 after a long battle with Parkinson's syndrome. He was 56–5 in his professional boxing career, considered by many the greatest heavyweight in history. Ali's funeral took place on June 9, 2016, at the Kentucky Exposition Center, where thousands gathered for Ali's memorial service.
"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," Muhammad Ali's widow Lonnie Ali said in a news release, according to the Detroit Free Press. "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."