Football Legend and Controversial Figure OJ Simpson Dead at 76


OJ Simpson

OJ Simpson, the former NFL star and broadcaster whose athletic achievements and fame were eclipsed by his 1995 trial in the brutal killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, has died of cancer, his family announced Thursday on X. He was 76.

A post from the “Simpson Family” on Simpson’s verified X account Thursday morning said: “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 prostate cancer diagnosis was made public about two months ago, Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said in a statement. The Hall of Fame player had received chemotherapy treatment.

While OJ Simpson was a highly decorated athlete – winning the 1968 Heisman Trophy as a senior running back at the University of Southern California before playing for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and later the San Francisco 49ers – he became perhaps one of the most controversial figures of the late 20th century after he was charged with the murders of his former wife and her friend.

A jury found him not guilty in a trial that saw America’s fascination with celebrity collide with its centuries-long struggle with race, as well as issues of class, policing and criminal justice. Those themes – and the judge’s decision to allow the trial to be televised – coalesced in what many called a “Trial of the Century” that held the country’s attention in a vise grip for nearly nine months before evolving into a cultural touchstone.

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