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KATHY MATHESON
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Retired boxing great Muhammad Ali has been awarded the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia.

The award was presented in a ceremony at the National Constitution Center on Thursday. It recognizes his longtime role as a fighter outside the ring for humanitarian causes, civil rights and religious freedom.

A frail Ali did not speak, but stood with assistance to receive the medal from his daughter, Laila. His wife Lonnie said Ali was honored and humbled to be a beacon of liberty.

Since hanging up his gloves in 1981, Ali has traveled extensively on international charitable missions and devoted his time to social causes.

Previous medal recipients include rock singer Bono, former South African President Nelson Mandela and former President Jimmy Carter.

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Online:

Liberty Medal: http://constitutioncenter.org/libertymedal

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Follow Kathy Matheson at www.twitter.com/kmatheson

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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