O.J. Simpson passes away

O.J. Simpson passed away on Wednesday, his family announced.

Simpson, who built a career around football including winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968 and was acquitted of charges from a trial in the 1990s of the killing of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman, “succumbed to his battle with cancer,” according to a post by the Simpson family on social media.

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According to Ken Ritter of The Associated Press, Simpson died of prostate cancer.

Simpson played at USC from 1967-68 running for over 3,100 yards and 33 touchdowns including more than 1,700 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns his senior season when he won the Heisman. He spent two years at San Francisco City College — where he became the all-time junior college rushing leader with 2,552 yards and 54 touchdowns — before transferring to the Trojans.

The Buffalo Bills chose Simpson No. 1 overall in the 1969 NFL Draft, and he led an 11-year career reaching six Pro Bowls and becoming the first ball-carrier to surpass 2,000 yards on the ground in 1973. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

Around a decade later, a California jury “found him not guilty of murder in 1995, but a separate civil trial jury found him liable in 1997 for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million” to Brown and Goldman’s relatives, according to the AP.

Simpson served parole which ended in 2021 after nine years in a remote Nevada prison upon his conviction of armed robbery and other felonies after a confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas during the 2000s, according to the AP.

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Simpson was a standout running back both in college and at the pro level, where he eclipsed 1,400 yards in both seasons at USC and led the NFL in rushing four times.

Simpson set 19 NCAA, conference and program records at USC. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

He and the Trojans won the national championship in 1967. One of the most famous runs of Simpson’s career came that year on a 64-yard touchdown when No. 1 USC beat No. 4 UCLA 21-20.

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Simpson ran for 1,451 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1967 earning Back of the Year from the United Press International.

After finishing runner-up his junior season, Simpson earned the Heisman in 1968. He rushed for 1,709 yards and 22 touchdowns, while USC went 9-0-1 in the regular season.

Simpson returned to the All-America first team and also claimed Rose Bowl MVP and the Maxwell Award in his final season of college football.