Muhammad Ali celebrates his 70th birthday Saturday night

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by Anna Prendergast

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 14, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 15 at 10:23 PM

(WHAS11) - Muhammad Ali is celebrating his 70th birthday here in Louisville Saturday night. The guest list is full of family, friends, and celebrities including Matt Lauer, John Mellencamp and the three American hikers who were imprisoned in Iran.

Muhammad Ali made an appearance right before walking into his private birthday celebration Saturday night. The crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to the man nicknamed, "The Greatest". Ali even got to cut the first piece of his birthday cake.

Ali's 70th birthday celebration was at the Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville. Ali, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1984, had 350 of his closest friends and family who traveled from around the world to be there. His brother says he is doing well and in good spirits.

The celebration was also a fundraiser for the Ali Center. Dinner tickets reportedly cost $1,000 each. All of the money goes directly to the center.

More celebrities on the guest list included Ann Curry, Lennox Lewis, Kentucky politicians, coaches and Neil Leifer, a well known sports photographer that captured a famous picture in 1965. Ali stopped Sonny Liston with one punch in the first round of the heavyweight championship. Lewis says he came to celebrate with Ali and that Ali has always been someone he has looked up to.

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