OJ Simpson dies from cancer aged 76

American football star's career was eclipsed by his involvement in high-profile murder trial

OJ Simpson dies at 76 after battle with cancer

OJ Simpson dies at 76 after battle with cancer
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OJ Simpson, the former American football player best known for his acquittal in the high-profile double murder of his wife and her friend, has died at the age of 76, his family said on Thursday.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” the family said in a post on Simpson's account on X.

“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.”

TMZ reported that he had been battling prostate cancer in recent years and that his health had taken a turn for the worse in the past few months, with him entering hospice care.

In May of last year, Mr Simpson posted a video on X in which he said that he had been diagnosed with cancer and “had to do the whole chemo thing”.

Mr Simpson played running back in university and distinguished himself on the field, winning the coveted Heisman Trophy in 1968.

He then rose to further fame in the NFL, primarily playing for the Buffalo Bills. He was considered to be one of the greatest running backs of all time.

In addition to athletics and sports commentating, he was also an actor, appearing in popular slapstick comedy series The Naked Gun as well as a series of well-known commercials for car rental company Hertz.

But his professional success was eclipsed by accusations of his involvement in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, who were found stabbed to death outside Ms Brown's home.

In June 1994, he was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the double murder after leading police on a low-speed chase near his home in Brentwood, California.

The chase was watched by about 95 million people, rivalling only the Super Bowl in viewership.

The trial was televised and received intensive media coverage, with “the trial of the century” capturing the attention of the nation over the ensuing 11 months.

Mr Simpson's high-profile defence team included lawyer-to-the-stars Johnnie Cochrane and Robert Kardashian, scion of the famous reality TV family.

Prosecutors committed a major blunder when they asked Mr Simpson to try on a pair of gloves similar to a bloodstained pair found at the murder scene.

In a dramatic demonstration, Mr Simpson struggled to put on the gloves and indicated to the jury that they did not fit.

Delivering the trial's most famous words, Mr Cochran referred to the gloves in closing arguments to jurors with a rhyme: “If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.”

Mr Simpson was declared not guilty in the case.

In 1997, however, Mr Goldman’s family brought a civil suit against Mr Simpson, and he was found liable for wrongful death and battery, and ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages.

Hounded by debt, in 2007, Mr Simpson and a group of men robbed the Palace Station hotel casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, in an attempt to retrieve sports memorabilia Mr Simpson claimed belonged to him.

He was arrested and convicted of robbery, kidnapping and other counts, and was sentenced to up to 33 years in prison. He was released in 2017.

Updated: April 11, 2024, 7:56 PM