Former American footballer O.J. Simpson has died at the age of 76.

His family posted a statement on X today (April 11) which read: “On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer.”

“He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren,” the statement continued. “During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.”

Simpson was born on July 9, 1947 in San Francisco. He began his professional footballing career with the Buffalo Bills in 1968, where he stayed for the majority of his 11-season career.

While playing professional football, he began acting, appearing in numerous television series and films including Roots, The Towering Inferno and The Klansman.

In the 1990s, Simpson was at the centre of a high-profile murder trial, involving the deaths of his second wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. Simpson was named a person of interest and subsequently tried and charged for their murders.

The trial of Simpson, which spanned 11 months from November 1994 to October 1995, was one of the most widely publicised events in US history, with his defence representatives including Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian among others.

Simpson was famously acquitted for the murders, however he was deemed liable for the deaths three years later in a civil suit brought by the victims’ families.

O.J. Simpson trial
O.J. Simpson, Robert Kardashian and Alvin Michelson, May 3 1995. CREDIT: VINCE BUCCI/AFP via Getty Images

In 2016, an American Crime Story series was released about the trial, titled The People V O.J. Simpson, starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, David Schwimmer as Kardashian, John Travolta as Shapiro, and Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden, one of the co-prosecutors in the case. The series won eight Emmy Awards, two Golden Globes and four Critics’ Choice Awards.

In 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with kidnapping and armed robbery. He was sentenced to 33 years’ imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole. He served his sentence and was granted parole in July 2017, and released in October 2017. His parole was eventually granted an early release, and lifted in 2021.

It was announced in February this year that Simpson was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer. He is survived by two children, Arnelle and Jason.

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