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OJ Simpson, former Buffalo Bills star acquitted of murder, dies at 76

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)

Former Buffalo Bills football star O.J. Simpson is dead at age 76, his family announced Thursday.

“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,” a statement said.

According to TMZ, Simpson had been battling prostate cancer in recent years and was allegedly in hospice care. Simpson said in an X (formerly Twitter) video in 2023 that he’d “caught” some form of cancer but suggested he’d beaten it at the time.

Simpson, a.k.a. “The Juice,” won the Heisman Trophy in 1968 while playing for USC and then spent 11 seasons in the NFL as a running back, including nine years as No. 32 with the Bills, from 1969 to 1977. He was the first NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season and still holds the record for yards-per-game average in a single season, with 143.1 in 1973. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and named to the NFL’s 100th anniversary team in 2020.

He also worked as a sports broadcaster and actor, appearing in “The Naked Gun” movies and “The Towering Inferno,” before being accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman in what became known as the “Trial of the Century.” Highlights from the unforgettable case included a slow car chase in a white Ford Bronco and Simpson attempting to put on a glove in front of a legal team that included Johnnie Cochran Jr., Robert Kardashian and F. Lee Bailey.

Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 killings, but was later found liable for the deaths of Brown and Simpson in civil court. He spent nine years in prison for a 2008 armed robbery and kidnapping case, and was released in 2017.

Simpson had two children with Brown and three children with his first wife, Marguerite Whitley. One of his children with Whitley drowned in 1979, the same year they divorced.

Simpson moved to Las Vegas after his release from prison and returned to Buffalo in 2021 to attend a Bills game. His name is on the Wall of Fame at Highmark Stadium, which was called Rich Stadium during his playing days.

In 2016, Simpson was the subject of both an FX miniseries, “American Crime Story” (starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J.), and a five-part ESPN documentary.

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