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O.J. Simpson dead at 76
POSTED BY WLAS April 11th, 2024 0 COMMENTS

O.J. Simpson, known as a superstar football player, actor, and for his infamous murder trial in the 1990s, has died, his family announced Thursday.

Simpson, 76, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. His family shared the news on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” the post reads. “He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.”

Simpson’s attorney confirmed to TMZ he died Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Once a beloved athlete, Simpson won the Heisman Trophy as a running back for the University of Southern California in 1968 and the NFL MVP award with the Buffalo Bills in 1973.

He played 11 years in the NFL for the Bills and San Francisco 49ers and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

After his football career Simpson turned to sports broadcasting and even acting. He was known for roles in Roots and The Naked Gun film series.

Simpson had the attention of the nation on June 17, 1994, when he infamously evaded police in a white Ford Bronco driven by Al Cowlings after he was accused in the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

Both were found stabbed to death outside Brown’s home in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood.

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His attorney, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., told the jurors, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

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

Simpson served nine years in a Nevada prison from 2008 to 2017 after he was convicted on charges including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

“I’ve basically spent a conflict-free life, you know,” said Simpson, whose parole ended in late 2021.

Public fascination with Simpson never faded. Many debated whether he had been punished in Las Vegas for his acquittal in Los Angeles. In 2016, he was the subject of both an FX miniseries and five-part ESPN documentary.

“I don’t think most of America believes 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’ve gotten thousands of letters and telegrams from people supporting me.”

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

Goldman’s family, still doggedly pursuing the multimillion-dollar wrongful death judgment, won control of the manuscript. They retitled the book “If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.”

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

“It helped me get out of debt and secure my homestead,” he said.

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

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