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  • Writer's pictureCharles Luberisse

OJ Simpson Dead At 76 After Cancer Battle

Source: TMZ

 

O.J. Simpson -- one of the most infamous high-profile Americans of all time -- is dead after a cancer battle.


The former NFL great -- who stood trial for the double-murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in the '90s, only to be acquitted -- passed away Wednesday in Las Vegas ... this according to his family.


They say he was surrounded by his children and grandchildren when he died Wednesday night. Simpson's attorney also confirmed his death to TMZ.


O.J. had reportedly been battling prostate cancer in recent years, and his health took a turn for the worse of late -- with him landing in hospice care within the past few months.


Word about O.J.'s cancer diagnosis first made the rounds in February, when a local outlet reported it, although the details were hazy ... as was O.J.'s response to the news at the time, when he denied he was in hospice, but didn't address the cancer report.


Adding to the mystery was the fact O.J. actually touched on a cancer diagnosis in 2023 in a video he posted on X -- when he said he'd "caught" some form of cancer, but suggested he'd beaten it. In any case, the cancer came back and claimed his life about a year later.


O.J. had been looking frail in the lead-up to his passing ... including during an outing in January when he was spotted using a cane.


The last time O.J. posted was a video of himself talking about Super Bowl LVIII, where he said he was rooting for his former team the San Francisco 49ers. He seemed to be in good spirits then. He was seated in the clip and talking from the backyard of a home.


It goes without saying ... O.J.'s life was momentous for a variety of reasons -- lots of good and bad, especially in his later, post-football years. Before that though, he was a beloved all-American hero on the field -- a Heisman winner from USC, and a Buffalo Bills legend.


Even after football ... he was a bona fide A-lister in Hollywood, acting in tons of movies and TV shows ... and famously serving as the face and pitchman for Hertz for many, many years.

Of course ... all of that goodwill left in the 1990s, when he was accused of the heinous murders.


His death marks the end of a multi-decade saga of crime and intrigue surrounding O.J. -- which peaked after the brutal slayings of Nicole and Ron in 1994, and in the aftermath of what was dubbed the Trial of the Century ... when O.J. was prosecuted on national TV.


Even before he was apprehended by police for questioning in the immediate aftermath of the murders ... O.J. led cops on a low-speed chase in his Ford Bronco on L.A. freeways -- a moment that was nationally televised, and one of the most dramatic, shared experiences in modern American history.

Once he was caught, a case started to form with him as the prime suspect. Prosecutors eventually charged him -- alleging O.J. carried out the horrific stabbing deaths of Nicole and Ron at her Brentwood home on June 12, 1994.


O.J. hired a so-called dream team of defense lawyers -- led by the late Johnnie Cochran, who ran point, and helped pick apart the State's case.


A fundamental element Cochran latched onto during the trial was the fact LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman had made racist remarks in the past ... which O.J.'s defense team suggested could've led to him planting a bloody glove found at Simpson's home.


This also led to another pivotal point in the trial, when O.J.'s team requested he be allowed to try on the gloves in court for the jury, and they ended up not fitting him perfectly.

That prompted Cochran to eventually utter the famous line, during closing arguments -- namely, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." In the end, the jury bought that defense.

O.J. was acquitted of the murder charges -- to the shock of much of the nation.


However, not too long after that ... he was sued by the Goldmans and the Browns in civil court for wrongful death ... and that case played out in Santa Monica, where a jury found him liable for the deaths of Nicole and Ron. He was ordered to pay tens of millions in damages.


Despite being dogged by the families for the money, O.J. mostly avoided paying the judgment ... and eventually fled Los Angeles and settled down in Las Vegas -- where other legal troubles started to find him ... including tax woes, and eventually ... another criminal case.



In 2007, he was accused of busting into a Vegas hotel room in an attempt to recover sports memorabilia that he believed had been stolen from him ... rolling up to confront the new owner with a bunch of goons in tow, armed with weapons too ... according to prosecutors.


He was eventually arrested, charged and prosecuted ... and ultimately convicted on all the charges. O.J. was then imprisoned for a long time -- until he was released on parole in 2017.


Once O.J. got out of prison ... he ended up settling down in Sin City -- where he lived a relatively private and peaceful life out of the public eye ... although, he was active on social media -- often posting to Twitter/X with opinions on sports, politics and other topics.


Of course, his reputation was completely destroyed by then -- partially because many believe he actually confessed to the '94 killings in a book and subsequent interview he did in the 2000s, touting it as "hypothetical" ... plus, everything else that had transpired over the years.


And yet ... he was still approached by lots of fans post-prison regardless, posing for pics often. He also still had the support of some of his family ... including his children.



O.J. was 76.


8:57 AM PT -- The Goldmans' attorney, David Cook, tells TMZ ... "O.J. died without penance," adding that while he may be gone -- his multi-million-dollar judgment is not ... and the Goldmans are interested in discerning what money/assets he may have left behind that they can collect.


Cook goes on to say they'll be exploring their options now that O.J. Simpson is dead, including figuring out whether he left behind a fund with his estate that they can pounce on.


8:36 AM PT -- Caitlyn Jenner, who used to be close friends with O.J., tells TMZ ... "Good riddance." She has since posted on X.


8:20 AM PT -- Tom Lange -- one of the lead detectives who worked on the O.J. murder case -- tells TMZ ... "I have nothing to say, I simply don't care."

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