OJ Simpson has died at the age of 76, his family says | US News

April 11, 2024
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OJ Simpson, the former American football star and Hollywood actor who was cleared of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in a criminal trial, has died aged 76.

His family said on X that he was surrounded by his children and grandchildren when he “succumbed to his battle with cancer” on Wednesday.

Simpson was tried for murder in October 1995, in what was dubbed the “trial of the century”.

He was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, but was later found responsible for the deaths in a civil lawsuit.

He was then imprisoned for nine years for armed robbery and kidnapping after an incident at a Las Vegas hotel.

The former NFL running back said in February that he was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

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OJ: ‘It was a nightmare team’

Nicknamed “The Juice”, Orenthal James Simpson rose to fame in US sport for his achievements as part of the Buffalo Bills.

He was enrolled in the NFL’s hall of fame and was the first running back to gain 2,000 yards in a season in 1973.

He also became known as a pitchman, football commentator and actor, appearing in a number of TV and film roles including the Naked Gun movie series.

O.J. Simpson, football player for the Buffalo Bills seen in 1969. (AP Photo)
Image:
OJ Simpson became famous as a running back for the Buffalo Bills. Pic: AP

O.J. Simpson poses for a photo in 1968
Pic:AP
Image:
Nicknamed ‘The Juice’, Simpson became a star of TV and film after his NFL career. Pic: AP

Simpson was charged with two counts of first-degree murder after Ms Brown Simpson and Mr Goldman were stabbed to death at his ex-wife’s Los Angeles home on 12 June 1994.

After he was accused of the killings, Simpson wrote a letter which insisted that he was innocent, said goodbye to friends and made “a last wish” to “leave my children in peace”.

On 17 June, his lawyer Robert Shapiro feared that Simpson was suicidal, while a white Ford Bronco carrying the former footballer led police on a 60 mile chase through Los Angeles.

OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1993.
Pic: AP
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OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson in 1993. They divorced in 1992. Pic: AP

A white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings and carrying OJ Simpson, being trailed by Los Angeles police on 17 June , 1994. Pic: AP
Image:
A white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings and carrying OJ Simpson, being trailed by Los Angeles police on 17 June Brown Simpson 1994. Pic: AP

He was acquitted the next year after a trial watched by millions worldwide, where Simpson famously tried on a glove found at the scene of the crime.

The gloves appeared to be too small, leading defence attorney Johnnie Cochran to say: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

Simpson was acquitted of murder on 3 October 1995. A civil wrongful death suit later found him liable for the deaths in 1997. He was ordered to pay $33.5m in damages.

OJ Simpson grimaces as he tries on one of the leather gloves prosecutors say he wore the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered.
Pic: AP
Image:
OJ Simpson grimaces as he tries on one of the leather gloves prosecutors say he wore the night his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. Pic: AP

Simpson was later arrested in 2007 for armed robbery and kidnapping in a dispute over sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas casino hotel.

He was sentenced to 33 years in prison in 2008. After nine years in a Nevada prison, Simpson was discharged from parole and released early for good behaviour in 2021.

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