Skip to main content

Home Film Film News

O.J. Simpson, NFL Hall of Famer accused of double murder, dead at 76

Gridiron star-turned-actor and spokesperson was acquitted in the killing of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in one of the highest-profile trials in history

By Daniel Kreps

1975: O.J. Simpson #32 of the Buffalo Bills looks on during an NFL game circa 1975. ROBERT RIGER/GETTY IMAGES

O.J. Simpson, the football star-turned-actor who became the center of one of the highest-profile trials in U.S. history when he was accused of murdering his ex-wife and another man, died Wednesday at the age of 76.

Simpson’s children announced his death Thursday, saying that their father died following a private cancer battle. “On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” his family said in a statement. “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.”

In February, a television station in Las Vegas — where Simpson resided in recent years — reported that Simpson was undergoing treatment for cancer. Simpson did not confirm or deny the reports, but denied rumors that he was in hospice care. “My health is good,” Simpson said in a social media video posted before the Super Bowl. “I mean, obviously I’m dealing with some issues but I think I’m just about over it.”

What appeared to be a successful post-football career came to a sudden and shocking end on the night of June 12, 1994, when Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were found viciously stabbed to death outside of her Los Angeles home.

What followed was one of the most infamous court cases in American history and the trial that ushered the true-crime era into the mainstream: Soon after attending Brown Simpson’s funeral, Simpson was charged with her and Goldman’s murder on June 17. 

Before he was arrested, however, Simpson had his friend and lawyer Robert Kardashian publicly read what was perceived as Simpson’s suicide note. Simpson — with his friend and former team mate Al Cowlings at the wheel of a Ford Bronco — sat in the backseat with a gun allegedly to his head as Cowlings led police on a slow-moving chase down Los Angeles’ highways, an event that was picked up live by the nation’s TV networks and even interrupted Game 5 of the NBA Finals, where it was shown as a picture-in-a-picture. The Bronco chase ultimately ended at Simpson’s Brentwood estate, where he surrendered to police and was booked on murder charges.

This story is developing

From Rolling