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OJ Simpson, Tainted American Football Titan, Dies At 76 Due To Cancer

Though he was among the most feted American sportspersons of all time, OJ Simpson's image was forever tarnished by accusations of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her boyfriend Ronald Goldman in June 1994. He was acquitted of the charges, but found liable in 1997 in a separate civil suit

AP
File photo of former American football superstar OJ Simpson attending a criminal hearing in Clark County District Court, Las Vegas in 2013. Photo: AP
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Orenthal James Simpson, the American football titan-turned Hollywood actor who got embroiled in and was later acquitted of charges that he murdered his ex-wife and her boyfriend, has passed away at the age of 76. He died of cancer, his family has confirmed. Simpson's attorney also confirmed his demise to TMZ. (More Sports News)

OJ Simpson's family wrote on X (formerly 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.”

Widely regarded as one of the greatest running backs of all time, Simpson played in the National Football League for 11 seasons and won the Heisman Trophy in 1968 while at USC. But his image was forever tarnished by accusations of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in June 1994.

Though he was acquitted, Simpson was found liable in 1997 in a separate civil suit brought by the victims’ families, and ordered to pay $33.5 million to family members of Nicole and Ronald.

This was preceded by what was billed as the "trial of the century". After Nicole and Ronald were found murdered outside the former's condo on June 12, 1994, charges were filed against the American football superstar.

A massive media spectacle ensued on June 17, 1994 as Simpson tried to flee in his car and the police followed him. The chase, which was televised, drew an audience of around 9.5 crore viewers. This was the same day as the opening ceremony of FIFA World Cup 1994 in Chicago, where Germany beat Bolivia 1-0 in the first match.

In 2007, Simpson led five men - two of whom had guns - into a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. A jury convicted Simpson of armed robbery and other felonies.

Jailed at the age of 61, he served nine years in a northern Nevada prison, and was released on parole in October 2017. The parole board heard him vehemently claim that he was only trying to retrieve sports memorabilia and family heirlooms stolen from him after his criminal trial in Los Angeles. “I’ve basically spent a conflict-free life, you know,” Simpson, whose parole ended in late 2021, said.

Even after all the trials and tribulations, public fascination with Simpson continued. In 2016, he became the subject of an FX miniseries titled 'The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story' and a five-part ESPN documentary, called 'OJ: Made In America'.

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