OJ Simpson Dies at 76

(StraightNews.org) – Former football star and actor OJ Simpson has died at age 76. His family announced his death on April 10, saying he had succumbed to cancer. Considered one of America’s greatest-ever running backs, Simpson played in the NFL for 11 years, primarily with the Buffalo Bills but later with the San Francisco 49ers. Simpson retired from the sport in 1979.

Mr. Simpson had already established himself as an actor before becoming a professional footballer. He appeared in several credited and uncredited roles during the 1960s and 1970s. However, his role as Detective Nordberg in the successful comedy franchise The Naked Gun brought him international fame. In the movies, he starred alongside Leslie Nielsen and Priscilla Presley.

Much of his success on the football field and silver screen would later be overshadowed, however, when prosecutors in California charged him with the murder of his wife and her friend. Nicole Simpson’s body was found outside her Los Angeles home in 1994, alongside the body of Ronald Goldman. The couple died from stab wounds, and police quickly identified Simpson as a primary suspect.

Prosecutors urged Simpson to surrender to police, but he fled with former team-mate Al Cowlings. A police chase ensued while LAPD officers chased Simpson’s white Ford Bronco accompanied by live TV cameras. Simpson eventually submitted, and the “trial of the century” began in January 1995.

Prosecutors said Simpson murdered his wife and her friend in a jealous rage, but the defense blamed racial prejudice by white LAPD officers.

In one of the trial’s notable moments, prosecuting attorneys invited Simpson to put on gloves believed to have been worn by the murderer. The gloves appeared not to fit, prompting defense lawyer Johnny Cochran to tell the jury, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

The jury found Simpson not guilty in October 1995, but in a later civil trial, he was found liable for both murders and ordered to pay more than $30 million in damages.

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