O.J. Simpson, acquitted murder defendant and football star, dies at age 76

OJ Simpson, the acquitted California murder defendant, former football star and actor, has died, his agent confirmed to CBS News. He was 76 years old.

A declaration posted on social networks by Simpson’s family said he died Wednesday of cancer. Simpson’s agent said he had Prostate cancer.

“On April 10, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren,” the family statement said.

Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, in a case that dominated headlines and television screens for months. He was later found responsible for their deaths by a jury in a civil trial.

OJ Simpson, right, with attorney F. Lee Bailey
OJ Simpson, right, with attorney F. Lee Bailey, left, at the funeral of attorney Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. on April 6, 2005 in Los Angeles.

David McNew/Getty Images

Simpson gained fame, fortune and adulation through football and show business, but his legacy was forever changed by the June 1994 stabbing murders in Los Angeles.

Live television coverage of his arrest after a famous slow speed chase marked a stunning fall from grace for the sporting hero. He had seemed to transcend racial barriers as a Trojans star for the football powerhouse University of Southern California in the late 1960s, as a rental car pitchman and airport rusher in the late 1960s. 1970, and as the husband of a blue-eyed blonde. high school prom queen in the 1980s.

“I’m not black, I’m OJ,” he liked to tell his friends.

Police pursue OJ Simpson on Highway 405
Motorists stop and salute as police cars pursue a white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings, carrying fugitive murder suspect OJ Simpson, during a 90-minute slow-speed car chase on June 17, 1994 on the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles.

Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

The public was fascinated by his “trial of the century” live on television. Her case sparked debates about race, gender, domestic violence, celebrity justice and police misconduct.

A jury found him not guilty of murder in 1995, but a separate civil trial jury found him responsible in 1997 for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million to family members of Brown and Goldman.

A decade later, still in the shadow of the wrongful death ruling in California, Simpson led five men he barely knew into a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a cramped Las Vegas hotel room. Two men with Simpson had weapons. A jury convicted Simpson of armed robbery and other crimes.

Imprisoned at age 61, he served nine years in a remote prison in northern Nevada, including as a gymnasium janitor. He was not contrite when he was released on parole in October 2017.

The parole board heard him insist once again that he was only trying to recover sports memorabilia and family heirlooms that were stolen from him after his criminal trial in Los Angeles.

“I’ve pretty much lived a conflict-free life, you know,” said Simpson, whose parole ended at the end of 2021.

The public’s fascination with Simpson has never faded. Many wondered if he was punished in Las Vegas for his acquittal in Los Angeles. In 2016, he was the subject of an FX miniseries and a five-part ESPN documentary.

“I don’t think most Americans believe I did it,” Simpson told the New York Times in 1995, a week after a jury determined he did not kill Brown and Goldman. “I have received thousands of letters and telegrams from people who support me.”

OJ Simpson, wearing the blood-stained gloves found by Los Angeles police and entered into evidence in Simpson's murder trial, shows his hands to the jury at the request of prosecutor Christopher Darden on June 15, 1995, under his name lawyer Johnnie Cochran Jr., that's right, look.
OJ Simpson, wearing the blood-stained gloves found by Los Angeles police and entered into evidence in Simpson’s murder trial, shows his hands to the jury at the request of prosecutor Christopher Darden on June 15, 1995, under his name lawyer Johnnie Cochran Jr., that’s right, look.

Reuters/Sam Mircovich

Twelve years later, following a wave of public outrage, Rupert Murdoch canceled a planned book by News Corp-owned HarperCollins in which Simpson offered his hypothetical account of the murders. The title was to be “If I Did It”.

Goldman’s family, which is still aggressively pursuing the multimillion-dollar wrongful death judgment, took control of the manuscript. They renamed the book “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.”

“It’s blood money, and unfortunately I had to join the jackals,” Simpson told the Associated Press at the time. He raised $880,000 in advance for the book, paid through a third party.

“It helped me become debt free and secure my property,” he said.

Less than two months after losing the rights to the book, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas.

Simpson played 11 seasons in the NFL, nine of which were with the Buffalo Bills, where he became known as “The Juice” on an offensive line known as “The Electric Company.” He won four NFL rushing titles, totaled 11,236 rushing yards in his career, scored 76 touchdowns and made five Pro Bowls. His best season was 1973, when he rushed for 2,003 yards – the first running back to break the 2,000-yard rushing mark.

“I was part of the history of the game,” he said years later, reflecting on that season. “If I did nothing else in my life, I would have left my mark.”

Of course, Simpson gained other fame.

One of the items from his murder trial, the carefully tailored beige suit he wore when he was acquitted, was later donated and displayed at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Simpson had been informed that the suit would be in the room hotel in Las Vegas. , but it turned out it wasn’t there.

News Source :
Gn sports

Back to top button