O.J Simpson, famed NFL star and murder suspect dies from cancer at the age of 76

O.J. Simpson has died at the age of 76.
O.J. Simpson Granted Parole At Hearing
O.J. Simpson Granted Parole At Hearing / Pool/GettyImages

O.J. Simpson, the famed NFL star who played for the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers and was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, has died. He was 76, and according to O.J.'s family, per a statement on X, formerly Twitter, he passed away "surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

"On April 10th [2024], our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer," the tweet reads. "He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks you [to] please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.

-The Simpson Family."

It's unclear what cancer Simpson passed away from, but in May of 2023, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a common cancer that develops exclusively in men. At the time, he said he "was doing the chemo thing."

In February 2024, coinciding with Super Bowl LVIII, he updated his X followers regarding his health.

"My health is good. I mean, I am obviously dealing with some issues. I think I'm just about over [the cancer], and I'll be on that golf course hopefully in a couple of weeks."

Simpson was born in the suburbs of San Francisco and had a passion for sports at a young age. He played on the University of Southern California football team. He was drafted in 1969 into the NFL Buffalo Bills, where he played as the running back. Simpson was a team player until 1977, when he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. Simpson retired from the NFL two years later. For both teams, Simpson defied the odds and was considered one of the best football players of all time.

During and following his football career, Simpson went into acting and had roles in the 1977 miniseries Roots and the Lethal Weapon film franchise. He was considered for the lead in 1984's Terminator but lost the role to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

O.J. Simpson and 'The Trial of the Century'

In 1994, Simpson was arrested and charged with the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. The trial began in November 1994 and lasted for months, and it was televised to millions of viewers. It finally ended with the jury's "acquittal" verdict in October 1995. Yet, there was mounting evidence regarding Simpson's guilt, including the infamous glove that was too tight when he tried it on for the courts.

However, leather tends to shrink after exposure to fluids, but this wasn't considered. It did lead to one of attorney Johnnie Cochran's signature lines, "If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit."

O.j. Simpson dies
OJ Simpson Criminal Trial - Simpson Tries on Blood Stained Gloves - June 15, 1995 / Lee Celano/GettyImages

Simpson's trial "Dream Team" was comprised of attorneys Robert Shapiro, Robert Kardashian, Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, and Alan Dershowitz. For Kardashian specifically, Simpson was a former friend whom he met in college and remained close until the latter's acquittal. Kris Jenner on the other hand was great friends of the Nicole and the Brown family, and was horrified throughout the trial.

When speaking with Barbara Walters in 1996, Kardashian expressed his "doubts" over Simpson's innocence. In 2003, nearly a decade after the trial, Kardashian died from a short battle with esophageal cancer.

In 2016, AHS creator Ryan Murphy produced American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson on FX. The miniseries starred Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Selma Blair as Kris Jenner, a heavily made-up John Travolta as Robert Shapiro, Evan Handler as Alan Dershowitz, Nathan Lane as F. Lee Bailey, and Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran. Through stellar performances and narrative, The People vs. O.J. Simpson won several awards, including the Primetime Emmys and Golden Globes.

Although Simpson was acquitted, the Brown and Goldman families sued the former NFL star in 1997 for wrongful death and battery, which the civil courts found in their favor.

In 2013, Simpson was released on probation following a prison sentence given in 2007 for armed robbery in Las Vegas.

Let it be known that even the most famous can tumble quickly from honor and reputation.

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