OJ Simpson Dead At 76 After Cancer Battle

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By Jak

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Former football star acquitted of murder, OJ Simpson Dead At 76

O.J. Simpson, the former football star who was famously accused but later found not guilty of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and her friend, has passed away at the age of 76, as confirmed by his family.

“Our dad, Orenthal James Simpson, passed away on April 10th after his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his kids and grandkids. During this tough time, we kindly ask for privacy and understanding,” his family said in a statement.

In May 2023, Simpson shared a video on X, previously known as Twitter, revealing he had recently battled cancer and undergone chemotherapy, stating optimistically, “It looks like I beat it.” He didn’t specify the type of cancer.

OJ Simpson Dead At 76 After Cancer

Then in February 2024, a Las Vegas TV station reported Simpson, now 76, was receiving treatment for an unspecified cancer. Simpson responded with a video on X, denying hospice rumors but not confirming his health status. Two days later, he posted another video thanking well-wishers and hinting at overcoming his health issues.

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Simpson, famously known as “The Juice,” made a name for himself as both a college and professional football player, breaking records along the way. He expanded his fame and wealth through various avenues such as sportscasting, acting in movies and television, and serving as a prominent spokesperson, notably for Hertz rental cars.

On June 12, 1994, everything changed when Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were brutally stabbed to death outside Nicole’s home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Shortly after, police announced their intention to arrest Simpson for the murders.

Just five days after the tragic event, 95 million Americans tuned in as Simpson’s white Ford Bronco, driven by his friend Al Cowlings, took to the streets of Los Angeles. With Simpson in the back seat holding a handgun and threatening suicide, the televised chase spanned 60 miles at low speeds, lasting around two hours.

Simpson eventually turned himself in and faced trial for the murders. After an 11-month trial, televised daily and captivating audiences worldwide, he was acquitted in October 1995.

OJ Simpson Dead At 76 After Cancer Battle

However, his legal troubles didn’t end there. In September 2007, Simpson orchestrated a group to enter a Las Vegas hotel and casino, claiming he was taking back his own sports memorabilia at gunpoint. This led to several felony charges, including kidnapping and armed robbery. The following year, he was found guilty and sentenced to up to 33 years in prison. Simpson was released on parole on Oct. 1, 2017.

O.J. Simpson’s children: Arnelle and Jason, from his first marriage, and Sydney and Justin, from his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson.

A Football Hero: The Life and Career of O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson was born on July 9, 1947, and grew up in Potrero Hill, a low-income neighborhood near San Francisco. His mother, Eunice, worked as an orderly at a psychiatric ward, while his father, Jimmy Lee, worked as a cook and custodian in a private club. When Simpson was just a toddler, his father left the family, leaving Eunice to raise their four children single-handedly.

Despite dealing with bow-legged and pigeon-toed conditions due to rickets during infancy, Simpson developed a deep passion for sports from a young age. In the spring of 1967, he enrolled at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. That same year, he married his high school sweetheart, Marguerite Whitley, and they eventually had three children together.

A Football Hero The Life and Career of O.J. Simpson

As a running back for USC, Simpson quickly rose to prominence, becoming college football’s leading rusher. By the time he left the school, he had set an impressive 13 college football records and clinched the prestigious 1968 Heisman Trophy.

Following his college success, Simpson’s television career skyrocketed. On the night he won the Heisman, he inked a television deal with ABC Sports. The following year, he was selected as the first pick in the 1969 draft, joining the Buffalo Bills with a groundbreaking $650,000, five-year contract.

His time with the Bills was marked by remarkable achievements. In 1973, Simpson scored an NFL-record 23 touchdowns in a single season. He also set records for the most rushing yards in a single game, with 250, and shattered the season rushing record with an impressive 2,003 yards.

Simpson’s football success translated into fame beyond the field. In 1975, Hertz enlisted Simpson for a groundbreaking national ad campaign, making him the first Black man to star in such a corporate endeavor. The commercials featured Simpson, clad in a business suit, confidently navigating airports to reach his rental car, captivating audiences nationwide. This campaign’s triumph attracted other endorsement deals, further boosting Simpson’s wealth and renown.

brown-simpson O.J. Simpson Murder Trial Explained

Traded to the San Francisco 49ers before the 1978 season, Simpson relocated his family to the West Coast. However, after two seasons with the team, persistent physical issues led him to retire from professional football, concluding his career as the NFL’s highest-paid player.

Throughout his football tenure, Simpson dabbled in acting, featuring in projects like the TV miniseries “Roots” and films such as “The Towering Inferno” and “Capricorn One.” Upon retiring from the NFL, he established his production company, immersing himself in the entertainment industry full-time. Simpson continued to act, notably as a regular in the “Naked Gun” film comedy series, and also engaged in TV football commentary.

OJ Simpson’s Wife: Meeting Nicole Brown

While still married to Marguerite, Simpson crossed paths with Nicole Brown, then 18, while she worked as a nightclub waitress in Beverly Hills in 1977. This coincided with Simpson and Marguerite celebrating the birth of their daughter, Aaren, and moving into a Tudor-style mansion in LA’s Brentwood neighborhood. Tragedy struck two years later when Aaren died in the family’s swimming pool. Around the same time, Simpson and Marguerite finalized their divorce, and Nicole Brown moved in.

OJ Simpson's Wife Meeting Nicole Brown

In 1985, Simpson and Brown tied the knot, resulting in two children. However, their marriage was plagued by allegations of Simpson’s physical abuse towards his wife. In 1989, Simpson was arrested for assaulting her and reportedly threatening her life. He pleaded no contest and received probation, counseling, and community service. Despite attempts at reconciliation, Nicole Brown Simpson filed for divorce, which was finalized in 1992.

OJ Simpson Car Chase: ‘Trial of the Century’

On the evening of June 12, 1994, after Brown Simpson and her family had dinner at Mezzaluna, one of their preferred Los Angeles restaurants, she returned to her condominium on Bundy Drive in LA’s Brentwood neighborhood, as documented in court records. Later that night, Ron Goldman, a 25-year-old waiter at Mezzaluna, drove from the restaurant to Brown Simpson’s home to return eyeglasses her mother had accidentally left behind.

Around midnight, the bodies of Brown Simpson and Goldman were discovered stabbed to death outside her residence.

OJ Simpson Car Chase california-highway-patrol-chase

Simpson was present in Los Angeles that evening, according to court records, but he caught a late flight to Chicago. Upon his return to Los Angeles the following day, he was questioned by the police but was not immediately arrested.

Five days after the murders, on June 17, 1994, prosecutors instructed Simpson to surrender for the deaths of Brown Simpson and Goldman. Instead, he fled in a Ford Bronco with Cowlings, sparking a slow-speed chase that lasted approximately two hours. This spectacle brought Southern California freeways to a halt and was broadcast live, captivating an estimated 95 million viewers across America.

As news helicopters circled above, capturing the chase, residents of Los Angeles emerged from their homes, lining highways and overpasses to witness the unprecedented events unfolding in real-time. Simpson eventually surrendered and was taken into custody. During his arraignment, he adamantly pleaded “Absolutely, positively, 100 percent not guilty” to all charges.

Simpson’s 1995 televised trial, famously dubbed the “trial of the century,” gripped audiences worldwide. It turned into a spectacle where not only the legal proceedings but also the private lives of everyone involved – witnesses, attorneys, and even the judge – became headline news. The trial, which began with the jury selection in November 1994 and concluded with the reading of the verdict in October 1995, was marred by controversy and racial tensions.

Simpson’s murder trial after the death of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson

Defense attorneys vehemently asserted Simpson’s innocence, claiming he had been unjustly accused of the murders. However, prosecutors painted Simpson as a controlling husband who had allegedly abused Brown Simpson. They presented compelling evidence, including blood from the crime scene discovered in Simpson’s car and home. Moreover, Simpson’s unaccounted-for whereabouts for over an hour on the night of the murders raised further suspicion.

One of the most iconic moments of the trial occurred when prosecutors asked Simpson to try on a pair of black leather gloves in front of the jury and a global television audience. One glove had been discovered at the crime scene, while the other was found at Simpson’s home. However, the gloves appeared to not fit properly on Simpson’s hands. The prosecution later suggested that the gloves had shrunk from their original size due to being soaked in blood. Despite this explanation, Simpson’s struggle to put on the gloves became a pivotal moment.

During his closing argument, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran delivered the trial’s most memorable declaration: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” This phrase succinctly summarized the defense’s argument that the evidence against Simpson was insufficient to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


On October 3, 1995, an unprecedented 150 million viewers tuned in as the verdict was announced, and Simpson was acquitted of the murders. Following his acquittal, Simpson made a public pledge to dedicate the remainder of his life to finding what he referred to as the “real” killer or killers.

Despite the verdict, Simpson encountered rejection in many of his previous social circles. His longtime agents severed ties with him, and numerous corporations withdrew their endorsement deals. Simpson’s reputation and earning potential suffered a significant blow almost overnight. By 2000, he had relocated from Los Angeles to Miami, Florida.

Despite being acquitted of criminal charges, Simpson faced a civil lawsuit filed by the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. The Brown family sued for battery, while the Goldman family pursued charges of battery and wrongful death. Unlike the televised criminal trial, cameras were not permitted in court during the civil proceedings.

The civil trial lasted slightly over three months, concluding in February 1997 with the jury unanimously finding Simpson liable for the alleged offenses. As a result, Simpson was ordered to pay a total of $33.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages, with $21 million awarded to the Goldman family and $12.5 million to the Brown family. However, despite ongoing efforts, the families only managed to collect a fraction of the damages awarded by the jury from Simpson.

In 2006, OJ Simpson’s book titled “If I Did It,” purported to be a “hypothetical” confession and based on interviews with Simpson, was set to be published alongside a TV special featuring Simpson. However, the project faced intense backlash, leading to its cancellation. The Goldman family, still seeking the unpaid damages from Simpson’s civil trial, obtained the rights to the book. They renamed it “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer” and published it themselves.

Conviction for robbery and kidnapping

On the night of September 13, 2007, Simpson led a group of men, one armed with a handgun, into a Las Vegas hotel room, purportedly to retrieve sports memorabilia he claimed had been stolen from him. He was arrested three days later and faced 12 felony charges, including kidnapping and armed robbery. After a trial lasting less than a month, Simpson was found guilty on all counts on October 3, 2008 – exactly 13 years after his acquittal in the Los Angeles double murder trial.

OJ-Simpson mugshot

During the sentencing in December, Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass remarked, “Earlier in this case, at a bail hearing, I … said to Mr. Simpson [that] I didn’t know if he was arrogant or ignorant or both. During the trial and through this proceeding, I got this answer – and it was both.” Simpson was subsequently sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.

OJ Simpson Parole: A Free Man

In July 2017, Simpson was granted parole. He aimed to assure the parole board of his commitment to meeting the conditions of his release.

“I’m not someone who led a life of crime,” he stated. “I’ve always been a good person, although I could have been a better Christian. My pledge to change is to become a better Christian.”

While acknowledging past struggles with fidelity, Simpson emphasized his ability to get along with others throughout his life.

OJ Simpson Parole A Free Man

On October 1, 2017, at the age of 70, Simpson walked out of Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Institute as a free man. He relocated from Miami to Las Vegas, focusing on activities like golf, spending time with friends, and sharing updates on social media.

In a letter read by his lawyers to the nation during the 1994 Bronco chase, Simpson reflected on his life. “I’ve had a fulfilling life. I’m proud of my actions. My mother taught me to treat others as I would like to be treated,” the letter read.

“Don’t pity me,” it continued. “I’ve had a wonderful life, wonderful friends. Remember the real O.J. and not the person who’s lost. Thank you for making my life extraordinary. I hope I’ve enriched yours.”

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