O.J. Simpson Dies at 76 After “Battle With Cancer”

A double-murder charge and the subsequent "Trial of the Century" will forever define the former NFL player's legacy

Former professional football player O.J. Simpson speaks during a parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada, U.S., on Thursday, July 20, 2017
O.J. Simpson at a parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada, on July 20, 2017.
Jason Bean/Pool via Bloomberg

O.J. Simpson, whose athletic and on-camera accomplishments were far eclipsed by two 1994 murder charges and the infamous televised trial that followed, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 76.

The Simpson family reported the news on X (formerly Twitter) early Thursday morning, stating that the cause of death was cancer.

Simpson was a Heisman Trophy winner and an NFL Hall of Famer. For a few decades, he held the NFL record for most rushing yards in a season. He also found modest success as a football commentator and in movies (The Naked Gun, Capricorn One).

But his name will be forever linked to the stabbing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994. He was acquitted in a much-publicized criminal trial that played daily through most of 1995; however, Simpson lost a $33.5 million civil suit by the Brown and Goldman families a few years later. By most accounts, Simpson repaid little of that judgment.

Simpson’s 2007 book If I Did It pretty much establishes his involvement in the murders, even as he presented it as “hypothetical.” Since publication, the Goldman family has been awarded the rights to the title and republished the work as a confession.

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Simpson later served nine years in prison for an armed robbery and kidnapping case that took place in Las Vegas and involved a dispute over sports memorabilia. In his final few years, he had surprisingly gained a following on social media, particularly Twitter and TikTok.

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