O.J. Simpson, NFL Hall of Famer and Former Heisman Winner Acquitted of Murder, Dead At 76

O.J. Simpson. one of the NFL's most controversial figures, died on Wednesday after a battle with cancer.

O.J. Simpson, one of the most controversial figures in NFL history, died on Wednesday after a battle with cancer.

Simpson’s family released a statement on his social media accounts, asking for “privacy and grace” after his passing.

Simpson was one of the greatest running backs of his generation, a star on and off the field who earned a place in the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

He won the Heisman Trophy during his final season at USC before being selected first overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 1969 AFL-NFL. Simpson made five consecutive first-team All-Pro teams from 1972 to 1976, leading the league in rushing yards in four campaigns.

Simpson won the 1974 NFL MVP Award after rushing for 2,003 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns, setting a league record for single-season rushing yards per game (143.1). He finished his career with 11,236 rushing yards, currently 21st among running backs.

Simpson became an actor during college and appeared in myriad films and television series before and after his football career, including “Roots,” “The Towering Inferno,” and “The Naked Gun” film series. He was also a commentator on “Monday Night Football” and “The NFL on NBC.”

However, his accomplishments were overshadowed by his trial and eventual acquittal for the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.

Simpson failed to turn himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He fled police in a 1993 white Ford Bronco, resulting in a car chase that was viewed by 95 million people and interrupted the 1994 NBA Finals.

The murders were followed by one of modern history’s most infamous court cases. While Simpson was ultimately not found guilty, he was liable in a civil suit three years later. He was served a $33.5 million judgment.

Simpson was involved in further legal trouble in 2007 when he led a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel room and took items he claimed were initially stolen from him. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison in December 2008 and released on parole in 2017.

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