President of the United States Barack Obama is set to miss the funeral of boxing icon Muhammad Ali. In an announcement Tuesday, the White House said Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will not be present at the boxing legend’s funeral Friday because they are already scheduled to attend their daughter Malia’s high school graduation ceremony on the same day.
WH announces Pres and Mrs Obama cannot attend funeral of Muhammad Ali on Friday because of daughter Malia's graduation ceremony in DC.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 7, 2016
The President, who read a moving tribute on the passing of the greatest, and the First Lady are sending a letter that will be read by White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett at Ali’s memorial service, which will be held in the boxing champion’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky on Friday, June 10, 2016.
Eulogies will be given by former President Bill Clinton, actor Billy Crystal and journalist Bryant Gumbel. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Abdullah II of Jordan are also expected to speak at the service.
Actor Will Smith, who portrayed the boxing icon in the 2001 movie “Ali”, and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will be among the pallbearers at the service.
Ali died at the age of 74 last Friday in Arizona from septic shock after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.