O.J. Simpson Dies at 76

O.J. Simpson -- the former NFL great, actor and defendant in one of the most high-profile murder cases of all time -- has died. He was 76. Simpson's death was confirmed in a statement via X (formerly Twitter). The joint statement from Simpson's family says, "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." https://twitter.com/TheRealOJ32/status/1778430029350707380   The Rise of O.J. Simpson Simpson rose to prominence as a running back with USC. His collegiate career was filled with numerous accolades. Among them was helping lead the Trojans to a National Championship in 1967 and winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968. In 1969, Simpson was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL/AFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. He played for the Bills from 1969-1977 and ended his NFL career with his hometown team, the San Francisco 49ers, for two seasons from 1978-1979. Like his college career, Simpson's professional football career was also filled with many honors. He was a five-time First-Team All-Pro and a five-time Pro Bowl pick. In 1973, he was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player and the Associated Press's Athlete of the Year. Simpson also led the NFL in rushing yards in 1972, 1973, 1975 and 1976. In 1975, Simpson was also the scoring leader in the NFL. Simpson's natural charisma lent itself well to a series of endorsements ranging from Honey Baked Ham to Hertz. https://youtu.be/Uqd_XZYkZ70?si=3orkEwa17UeqPbaf   Simpson also carved out a unique acting career while he was still in the NFL. During that time, his notable credits included 1974's The Tower Inferno and appearing in the historic 1977 TV miniseries Roots. After football, Simpson's most prominent acting roles were in The Naked Gun, the police spoof trilogy. https://youtu.be/cEjo0ajod1M?si=he70R6-4ZVv5xyYZ   The Fall of O.J. Simpson Simpson's entire career and reputation will forever be overshadowed by the high-profile murder trial The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson, which took place from September 1994 to October 1995. Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, on June 12, 1994 outside of her condo in Los Angeles. Simpson was set to turn himself into authorities after there was a warrant for his arrest, but he did not show. This eventually led to the infamous police pursuit where Simpson was a passenger in a 1993 Ford Bronco driven by friend and former teammate Al Cowlings. During the chase, Simpson had a gun and threatened to shoot himself. The chase was picked up by all of the major networks, which interrupted their regularly scheduled programming to show updates. https://youtu.be/WR2iARqGvVo?si=DTjGw_eUEkZnQXGK   The trial itself was a massive media event. It was aired on Court TV, and many of the figures involved in the trial became household names overnight. Simpson's legal defense team featured 10 attorneys, including Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Kardashian, and Robert Shapiro. The prosecution was led by Marcia Clark and also featured William Hodgman and Christopher Darden. Judge Lance Ito presided over the trial. The trial lasted 11 months and was also notable for its inclusion of DNA evidence, which, at the time, was still a relatively new form of evidentiary support. However, it was found the DNA evidence was mishandled and could not be used. On October 3, 1995, Simpson was found not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. While Simpson was found not guilty in the criminal trial, he was later found liable for the murders of Brown Simpson and Goldman in a 1996 civil trial brought by the parents of the late Brown Simpson and Goldman. They were awarded damages amounting to $33.5 million. https://youtu.be/rurKd569xRw?si=bMeBpE-_hfkYC4JH   [select-gallery gallery_id="718490" syndication_name="celebrity-deaths-2024" description="no"]

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