O.J. Simpson, former NFL star acquitted of murder, dies at 76

O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson, the former football star who was later accused and acquitted of murder, has died, family members announced in a post on social media. He was 76.

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In a post on Simpson’s page on X, formerly known as Twitter, his children said he “succumbed to his battle with cancer” on Wednesday.

“He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren,” according to the post. “During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.”

Family members did not say where Simpson died or provide additional details about his death.

In February, WPLG reported that Simpson was diagnosed with prostate cancer and undergoing chemotherapy in Las Vegas. That month, Simpson denied in a post on social media that he was in hospice care.

Simpson, born in San Francisco on July 9, 1947, rose to fame as a running back with the Buffalo Bills in the late 1960s and 1970s. The Pro Football Hall of Famer, who went by the nickname “Juice” is considered one of the greatest running backs of all time ranking just outside the NFL’s all-time top 20 in career yards rushing (11,236), according to CBS Sports.

He went on to act in movies and TV shows, including the famed TV series “Roots” and the comedy film “The Naked Gun,” before he was accused of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman in 1994.

That year, Simpson famously led police on a low-speed chase through Los Angeles in a Ford Bronco driven by former NFL player Al Cowlings, ESPN reported. Television stations across the country broke into programming, including the NBA Finals, to broadcast the chase, which had an estimated audience of 95 million, according to the news network.

One year later, he was acquitted of murder charges in what has been dubbed “The Trial of the Century,” according to The Associated Press. The trial, which riveted audiences nationwide, spurred gavel-to-gavel coverage and created questions about Simpson’s guilt that continue to linger.

“I don’t think most of America believes I did it,” he told The New York Times in 1995. “I’ve gotten thousands of letters and telegrams from people supporting me.”

Three years after his acquittal, Simpson was found liable for Brown Simpson’s and Goldman’s deaths in a civil case brought by their families and he was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages, according to the newspaper.

In 2008, Simpson was convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery after leading an attempt to retrieve personal items and memorabilia from collectibles dealers at a hotel and casino in Las Vegas, the AP reported. He served nine years of a 33-year sentence before being placed on parole in 2017, according to The Washington Post.

“I’ve always thought I’ve been pretty good with people and I’ve basically spent a conflict-free life,” Simpson said during a parole hearing in 2017.

Simpson is survived by four children, according to Sports Illustrated. One of his children, then-23-month-old Aaren, drowned in the family swimming pool in 1979, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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