Fallen football hero OJ Simpson dies of cancer

O.J. Simpson, the decorated football superstar, whose fame was eclipsed by his 1995 acquittal in the brutal killings of his former wife and her friend, has died of prostate cancer at 76. A post from the “Simpson Family” on Simpson’s verified X (formerly Twitter) account on Thursday morning said, “On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer”, adding that “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 earned fame, fortune and adulation through football and show business. His football career was inspirational, and he seemed to transcend racial barriers as the star Trojans tailback for the University of Southern California in the late 1960s. Simpson played 11 NFL seasons, nine of them with the Buffalo Bills, where he became known as “The Juice”.  Simpson married Nicole Brown Simpson in 1985 and seemed to love to play the role of the husband of a blonde and blue-eyed high school homecoming queen. The couple divorced in 1992. His legacy was forever changed after the horrific knife slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles in 1994.

Live TV coverage of his arrest after a famous slow-speed chase marked the stunning fall from grace for the sports hero. The live broadcast of the court case that followed is often dubbed “the trial of the century” and had the public mesmerized. It sparked debates on race, gender, domestic abuse, police misconduct and celebrity justice. The jury found him not guilty of murder in 1995, but in a separate civil trial, the jury found him liable in 1997 for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million to family members of Brown and Goldman.

A decade later, Simpson led five men to a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Two men with Simpson had guns. A jury convicted Simpson of armed robbery and other felonies. Simpson spent 9 years in a northern Nevada prison.

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