OJ “The Juice” Simpson Dies at 76

Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson died on Wednesday, April 10, after battling prostate cancer, according to his family. He was 76 years old.

Winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968, Simpson was a star running back for University of Southern California. He was #1 in the nation each season for rushing yards. In 1969, he was the number one overall pick in the NFL/AFL draft, being selected by the Buffalo Bills. Some of his accolades from the NFL include Most Valuable Player, most rushing yards in a career, most touchdowns in a season, and much more.

After football, Simpson pursued a new talent, acting. Starting with background roles in television shows, O.J. soon moved over to films. One of his first films, The Dream of Hamish Rose, was filmed in Sierra Blanca, Texas. However, his most popular role was the character “Detective Nordberg” in the comedic Naked Gun trilogy. He was also a sports broadcaster for Monday Night Football and NFL on NBC.

While already being a household name, Simpson gained notoriety for another reason in June of 1994 by being the main suspect in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her alleged lover, Ron Goldman. On June 12, the two were stabbed to death outside Nicole’s condo. O.J. was eventually charged with their murders and was scheduled to turn himself in on June 17, 1994. Instead, he ended up in a low speed chase with the California Highway Patrol, where he was the passenger and Al Cowlings, Simpson’s longtime friend and former Bills teammate, was the driver.

Simpson was apprehended soon after and later tried for the charges. The late Johnnie Cochran was the lead for Simpson’s defense counsel in what is still one of the most watched trials in world history. O.J. was found not guilty in this case but was later found liable for the wrongful death and battery of Ron and for the battery of Nicole in a civil suit.

After this, the football star/actor fell on somewhat hard times, dealing with massive debt as a result of his $33.5 million court ordered payment for compensatory and punitive damages to the victims’ families. Over a decade after the trial, Simpson faced new charges due to an alleged kidnapping and robbery when he allegedly attempted to take back his memorabilia that was being auctioned off.

On October 3, 2009, O.J. and his co-defendant were both found guilty and were later sentenced to 33 years in prison with possible parole after serving nine years. At his July 20, 2017, parole hearing, Simpson was granted parole with conditions like travel restrictions, non-contact with co-defendants from the robbery, and not drinking excessively. O.J. was released from prison on October 1, 2017, and released early from parole in December of 2021 due to good behavior.

On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, O.J. Simpson lost his battle with prostate cancer. His family released the following statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.

On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. 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. – The Simpson Family



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