Former NFL Star O.J. Simpson Dies At 76

O.J. Simpson, the NFL Hall of Famer whose 1995 acquittal in the so-called “trial of the century” for the gruesome murders of his ex-wife and a male friend captivated the globe, died on Thursday, his family reported. He was 76.

“Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer” on Wednesday, according to a family note posted on social media site X.

“He was surrounded by his kids and grandchildren. “During this time of transition, his family requests that you respect their wishes for privacy and grace,” the message read.

Simpson had reportedly been fighting prostate cancer.

Simpson grew up in extreme poverty and poor health, yet he blossomed into an extraordinary athlete, rising to prominence first as a college football player and then in the National Football League, where he earned the 1973 Most Valuable Player award.

His fame rose even further during his post-NFL career as an actor and ad pitchman, when he appeared to promote everything from orange juice to car rentals, making him one of the most famous Black faces in the country.

His work with Hertz, in example, in which he was photographed dashing through airports while wearing a three-piece suit, became part of pop cultural history.

Fame turns to infamy

However, his celebrity faded after he brutally murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in a Los Angeles suburb.

Millions of people watched the long, televised police chase to catch O.J. Simpson and the remarkable ensuing trial, which featured high-octane lawyers and claims of racism.

His acquittal in October 1995 after a nine-month trial was met with disbelief by many Americans who had followed every twist and turn in the arguments over matters as minor as whether a pair of gloves truly suited the former athlete’s hands.

The public’s opinion on whether “The Juice” was guilty or innocent differed drastically along racial lines.

Despite being released, “O.J.,” as he was nearly universally called, did not have a happy ending.

Simpson was eventually convicted accountable for the deaths in a 1997 civil trial and forced to pay $33.5 million in damages to the victims’ families.

He also spent nearly nine years in prison for a botched armed robbery before being granted for release by a parole board in the western state of Nevada in 2017.

But the public’s interest never diminished.

“O.J.: Made in America,” a nearly eight-hour documentary on his murder trial, earned the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2017.

In 2016, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” a television miniseries featuring Cuba Gooding Jr. as the athlete, won numerous Emmys.

Simpson denied being in hospice care in a video posted on X on February 9 of this year.

Broadcasting from the driver’s seat of a car, he said: “You talking about hospice?!”

“No, I’m not in any hospice,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t know who put that out there but whoever put that out there, I guess it is like the Donald (Trump) says, ‘Can’t trust the media.’

“In any event, I’m hosting a ton of friends for the Super Bowl here in Las Vegas. All is well. So hey guys, take care, have a good Super Bowl.”


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