PHILADELPHIA, July 6 (UPI) -- Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was awarded the 2012 Liberty Medal, the Philadelphia-based National Constitution Center announced.
The Liberty Medal is awarded annually to a person or organization that is working toward ensuring liberty for people worldwide.
Ali's selection for the award was made public Thursday by the center. Officials from the center said Ali has been an champion of constitutional principles while working to expand the concept of "We the people," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported
Center president David Eisner said Ali "will be the face of the Constitution's 225th anniversary."
"Muhammad Ali symbolizes all that makes America great, while pushing us as a people and as a nation to be better," he said.
A formal award ceremony to honor Ali will be held in Philadelphia in September. Because Ali's movement and speech have been deteriorating due to Parkinson's disease, his wife, Yolanda, will speak at the ceremony on his behalf, the report said.