The lasting legacy of Muhammad Ali, who died late Friday at age 74, is too difficult to put into words. There simply aren't enough of them.

Part world-class boxer, part civil rights activist, part humanitarian, Ali meant so many things to so many people that it's no wonder remembrances of his life have extended far beyond the world of sports.

During his heyday, Ali was one of the most well-known people the world over. He is being remembered today by presidents, athletes, entertainers, politicians, historians and hopefully for a long time by professors and students.

But you knew there was no way a man like Ali, who built his larger-than-life persona on the back of an incredible gift for gab and the ability to captivate an audience like none other, would go out without some final words of his own.

Here they are, as written in his 2013 autobiography, The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey.

How I Would Like To Be Remembered
"I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous, and who treated everyone right. As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him, and who helped as many people as he could. As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what. As a man who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love. And if all that's too much, then I guess I'd settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn't even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was."

As we said: perfect.

Leave it to Muhammad Ali to find a way to touch us all even after his death. Getty Images