Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali Planned His Funeral Program in Advance

There’s no guessing when it comes to Muhammad Ali’s legacy. He was an icon for civil rights, boxing, and toward the end of his life, the fight against Parkinson’s Disease.


And when he passed away on Friday, June 3, his family and friends weren’t left guessing when it came to his final wishes. Ali had carefully planned his own three-day funeral program. According to family spokesperson Bob Gunnell, Ali and a close group of advisers had spent nearly 10 years putting together this plan in the event of the sports legend’s death.

The funeral consisted of a city-wide cultural festival in Louisville, KY that started on Wednesday, June 8, followed by an Islamic funeral prayer program on Thursday, and finally a public memorial service on Friday, which drew notable celebrities and figures like Bill Clinton, Lennox Lewis, and actor Will Smith, who portrayed the boxer in the film Ali.

The three-day program is exactly the way Ali wanted everything to happen following his death, and that’s especially important. The family doesn’t have any second guessing of what he would want, since everything is planned out. It gives them more time to focus on working through their grief and celebrating his larger-than-life legacy.

Markwell Funeral Home would be happy to help patrons create a personalized funeral service, whether it’s a three-day affair or just a one-day celebration of your life. You can get started by filling out this preplanning form on the Markwell funeral website. It asks questions like burial preferences, whether you served in the military, and more.

For information on news to the funeral industry, preneed services at Markwell Funeral Home, and answers to questions related to developing a funeral plan, read Markwell’s blog, which offers further information. You can also contact Markwell Funeral Home with your questions at (888) 932-2630 or email them at