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O.J. Simpson, American Football Legend and Acquitted Murder Defendant, Dies at 76

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LAS VEGAS, USA – O.J. Simpson, the former NFL star whose legacy was overshadowed by his acquittal in one of the most polarizing and closely watched murder trials of the 20th century, has died at the age of 76, his family announced on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

Simpson’s battle with cancer came to an end surrounded by his loved ones, a somber moment that marks the close of a multifaceted and controversial life.

In a statement released on Simpson’s verified X account, the Simpson Family conveyed the news: “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.”

Simpson’s diagnosis of prostate cancer was disclosed approximately two months prior, drawing wide public attention.

Jim Porter, President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, expressed his condolences, noting that Simpson had undergone chemotherapy treatment.

O.J. Simpson
O.J. Simpson

Simpson’s storied career in football, including a Heisman Trophy win in 1968 and successful stints with the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers, had once defined his public persona.

However, Simpson’s legacy would be irrevocably altered by the events of 1994, when he was charged with the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

The subsequent criminal trial, televised and followed by millions, became a spectacle that intersected themes of celebrity, race, class, and the American justice system.

O.J. Simpson shows the jury a new pair of Aris extra-large gloves, similar to the gloves found at the crime scene 21 June 1995, during his double murder trial in Los Angeles, CA.VINCE BUCCI/AFP via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 21: O.J. Simpson shows the jury a new pair of Aris extra-large gloves, similar to the gloves found at the Bundy and Rockingham crime scene 21 June 1995, during his double murder trial in Los Angeles,CA. Deputy Sheriff Roland Jex(L) and Prosecutor Christopher Darden (R) look on. | Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images

Despite his acquittal in 1995, a civil court in 1997 found Simpson liable for the wrongful deaths of Brown Simpson and Goldman, ordering him to pay $33.5 million in damages.

Throughout the trials and the years that followed, Simpson maintained his innocence in the face of widespread public scepticism.

Polling by 2016 indicated a majority of Americans believed he was guilty of the murders.

Simpson’s death closes a chapter on a life that was as celebrated for its achievements on the football field as it was notorious for its legal battles off it.

O.J. Simpson
O.J. Simpson

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