OJ Simpson Dead at Age 76, Family Confirms

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
April 11, 2024US News

O.J. Simpson, the former NFL star who was acquitted of murder in one of the highest-profile criminal cases in U.S. history, has died at age 76, his family said Thursday.

The former Buffalo Bills running back died in Las Vegas on Wednesday, they said, adding that his cause of death was cancer.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” the family said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday.

“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 brief statement said. No other details were provided.

In 1994, Mr. Simpson’s ex-wife and the mother of two of his children, Nicole Brown Simpson, was found dead along with her friend, Ron Goldman. He was accused of killing them both but was later acquitted in a heavily publicized murder trial that lasted weeks.

Before he was arrested, Mr. Simpson and a friend drew worldwide coverage when he attempted to flee police in a white Ford Bronco.

The trial was the focus of intense media coverage, in part because Mr. Simpson had a number of high profile lawyers such as Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, and Robert Kardashian. Former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz was also involved and was working to prepare an appeal if Mr. Simpson was convicted.

But his legal problems were far from over.

Years after his criminal trial ended, Mr. Simpson was found liable in a civil lawsuit that was brought by the families of the victims. The former NFL star, however, long maintained his innocence and had publicly promised to find the “real killer.”

In 1997 he was ordered to pay $33.5 million for the wrongful deaths of the two victims. Some of his property was seized and auctioned, but most of the judgment has not been paid.

He later served nine years in prison for robbery and kidnapping over an attempt to steal back some of his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. He insisted his conviction and sentence were unfair, but said: “I believe in the legal system and I honored it. I served my time.”

Mr. Simpson said he had only wanted to get back personal mementos and items allegedly stolen from him following his acquittal in the double killings.

While on parole, in 2019, Mr. Simpson sued a Las Vegas Strip resort that banned him two years earlier. He alleged unnamed employees defamed him by telling a celebrity news site he had been drunk, disruptive, and unruly.

After being released from prison in 2017, Mr. Simpson had generally kept a low profile. However, he had sporadically made social media posts on X about a range of different topics.

“We don’t need to go back and relive the worst day of our lives,” Mr. Simpson told The Associated Press in 2019, referring to the night Ms. Brown and Mr. Goldman died. “The subject of the moment is the subject I will never revisit again. My family and I have moved on to what we call the ‘no negative zone.’ We focus on the positives.”

Born Orenthal James Simpson, he won the Heisman Trophy while playing for the University of Southern California before he was drafted No. 1 overall by the Buffalo Bills in 1969. He went on to have a Hall of Fame-worthy career, playing for both the Bills and the San Francisco 49ers.

He began acting in the 1960s and appeared in a number of TV shows and movies, most notably “Roots” and “The Naked Gun” franchise.

Mr. Simpson’s attorney also confirmed his death Thursday to media outlets.

This is a developing story; check back for more details.

From The Epoch Times

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