USC football great O.J. Simpson dies at 76

O.J. Simpson, the former Heisman Trophy winner at USC and ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, has died.
Oct 14, 1967; South Bend, IN, USA; FILE PHOTO; Southern California Trojans running back O.J. Simpson
Oct 14, 1967; South Bend, IN, USA; FILE PHOTO; Southern California Trojans running back O.J. Simpson / Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

O.J. Simpson, the former USC football great and ex-NFL player who was accused and then acquitted of the slaying of his ex-wife and her friend has died, his family announced. He was 76.

"On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren," his family announced. "During this time of transition, his family asks that you please repsect their wishes for privacy and grace."

Simpson posted a video to X/Twitter in May of last year saying that he "caught cancer" and would be undergoing chemotherapy for treatment.

Simpson, nicknamed "The Juice," emerged as a record-breaking running back at USC in the 1960s, and won the Heisman Trophy as a senior in the 1968 season. He ran for 3,423 yards and scored 36 touchdowns in his two seasons with the Trojans, averaging 5.1 yards per carry.

As the No. 1 overall selection in the 1969 NFL/AFL Draft to the Buffalo Bills, Simpson earned five straight Pro Bowl nominations and was first-team All Pro in 1972 and 1976. In the 1973 season, he became the first NFL back to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season.

Following his football career, Simpson earned additional fame as a sportscaster and actor in television and motion pictures, and worked as a corporate spokesman.

In 1994, Simpson was charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, who were stabbed to death outside her home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles.

Days later, police announced they would arrest Simpson for the murders. After a now-famous 60-mile police chase involving Simpson's white Ford Bronco with his friend Al Cowlings at the wheel, Simpson surrendered to police and stood trial for the murders.

In October 1995, after an 11-month trial that drew international interest and was televised daily, Simpson was acquitted of the murders in a decision that still arouses intense debate and controversy.

Simpson is survived by his four children.


More college football from SI: Top 25 Rankings | Schedule | Teams

Follow College Football HQ: Bookmark | Rankings | Picks

James Parks


James Parks is the founder and publisher of College Football HQ. He previously covered football for 247Sports and CBS Interactive. College Football HQ joined the Sports Illustrated Fannation Network in 2022.