O.J. Simpson, athlete and actor, dies at age 76

O.J. Simpson, the former football champion who transitioned to an acting career before being accused and eventually cleared (in a controversial, widely covered trial) of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her boyfriend Ron Goldman in 1994, he died yesterday (10) at the age of 76.

With this, Simpson’s family confirmed the news on the athlete’s official Twitter account, citing complications from prostate cancer as the reason for his death.

Born in San Francisco (USA), Simpson shined in college football while playing for the University of Southern California (USC), and was soon recruited by professional league teams. His stints with the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers made him a national star.

Simpson retired from playing in 1979, but even before that he had established himself as a prominent presence in Hollywood, with films such as The Klansmen (1974), The Towering Inferno (1976), Cassandra’s Crossing (1976) and Capricorn One (1977), in addition to appearing in the miniseries Raízes (1977), an audience phenomenon.

After retiring, Simpson doubled down on acting, and found a franchise to call his own in Get Out, appearing alongside Leslie Nielsen in three films in the comedy series between 1988 and 1994.

On June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman were found dead outside their Brentwood home. Simpson, who had pleaded guilty in a domestic violence case while married to Brown, became a suspect almost immediately, and police eventually filed charges.

Simpson made an escape attempt on June 17 in his white Ford Bronco and was pursued by several police cars for hours. US television channels broadcast everything, in a media spectacle watched by more than 95 million people.

The media sensation continued with the trial, which dragged on for months and ended with Simpson acquitted, a decision contested in the following decades. In 1997, however, a civil lawsuit by Goldman’s family led to Simpson’s conviction for assault, and he was ordered to pay $33 million to the victim’s relatives.

Years later, Simpson was arrested for robbery, and served almost nine years in prison until his release in 2017.