Former American soccer star O.J. Simpson was acquitted because that the killing of his ex-wife and also her friend adhering to a high-profile 1995 criminal trial, dubbed the "Trial of the Century."

Who Is O.J. Simpson?

O.J. Simpson is a former NFL soccer star, actor, broadcaster and convicted armed robber and also kidnapper well-known for being acquitted the the killing of Nicole Brown Simpson and her girlfriend Ronald Goldman. Simpson was a university football superstar in ~ USC, winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968. He later delighted in a record-setting career in the NFL and also tremendous popularity amongst his fans. Between a moderately successful post-playing career together an actor and also broadcaster, Simpson to be charged with murder of his previous wife and also Goldman in 1994. He was acquitted in a high-profile criminal trial, though he was found liable for your deaths in civil court. In 2008, Simpson to be sentenced to as much as 33 year in prison in because that kidnapping and armed rob of two sports memorabilia certified dealer in a ras Vegas hotel room in 2007. Quickly after gift granted parole, he to be released from jail on October 1, 2017.

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Early Life

Orenthal James Simpson was born on July 9, 1947, in mountain Francisco, California. His aunt provided him the surname Orenthal — supposedly the surname of a French actor she liked.

At the period of 2, Simpson contracted rickets, leaving the pigeon-toed and bow-legged. He had to stay a pair the shoes linked by an stole bar because that a couple of hours practically every day until he to be 5 year old.

Simpson's parents separated in 1952. Along with a brother and two sisters, that was elevated by his mommy in the rugged, largely Black Potrero Hill district of mountain Francisco. At period 13, he joined a gang called the Persian Warriors. One fight landed him at the san Francisco Youth Guidance facility for nearly a week in 1962.

Simpson shown immense promise top top the gridiron for Galileo High School, despite his bad grades originally impeded his possibilities of authorized a major college football program. After overwhelming the competition in ~ the City university of san Francisco, he to be admitted to the college of southerly California together a halfback.

Football Career

Simpson very first gained fame together a two-time All-American halfback because that the USC Trojans, setting NCAA records and also winning the Heisman Trophy in 1968.

Simpson joined the expert Buffalo bills in 1969 however did not excel till the violation was tailored to showcase his running. Nicknamed "The Juice," Simpson topped 1,000 yards rushing over 5 consecutive years (1972–76) and also led the nationwide Football league in that classification four times. In 1973, he became the an initial NFL player to rush for much more than 2,000 yards in a solitary season. The running earlier also developed league documents (since broken) v his 23 touchdowns in 1975, and 273 rushing yards versus the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving day 1976.

Acting and also Commentating Work

After retiring from experienced football in 1979, Simpson relocated on come a financially rewarding career together a sportscaster and also an actor. He had dabbled in acting while quiet an active athlete, significantly playing a male framed because that murder through the police in the 1974 film The Klansman.

Simpson later appeared in The naked Gun (1988) and also its sequels, playing a dim-witted assistant detective, and also regularly showed up in TV commercials because that the Hertz rental-car company, wherein he was watched leaping over luggage and other obstacles in an initiative to record a flight. Additionally, he worked as a commentator for Monday Night Football and the NFL top top NBC brand.

Wives and Children

Simpson was married twice and also had five kids, 4 of whom space living. Simpson married Marguerite L. Whitley top top June 24, 1967. They had three youngsters together, Arnelle, Jason and Aaren. Daughter Aaren Lashone Simpson, who was born in 1977, died a month prior to her 2nd birthday when she drown in the family's swimming pool. Simpson and Marguerite divorced in 1979.

While quiet married to his very first wife, Simpson met waitress Nicole Brown, then simply a teenager. Simpson and also Brown married in 1985, the same year that was chosen to the pro Football room of Fame, and also they had two kids together, Justin and also Sydney.

Brown Simpson complained about her marital relationship to friends and also family members, informing them that Simpson to be physically abusive. Complying with a fight in between the two at a 1989 new Year's night party, in which he allegedly threatened to death her, the previous football star pleaded no dispute to spousal battery. That brushed off the incident in an interview through ESPN, noting "We had a fight. We were both guilty. No one was hurt. It was no huge deal, and we gained on through our life." She filed because that divorce in 1992.

Deaths the Brown Simpson and also Goldman

On June 12, 1994, the body of Brown Simpson and also friend Goldman, were discovered stabbed to death outside the her condominium in Los Angeles' Brentwood area. Proof led police to suspect Simpson the the murders.

Bronco Chase

Simpson was ordered come surrender by 11 a.m. ~ above June 17 and instead vanished; he to be tracked down later on in the day when he made a contact from his cell phone on the Santa Ana Freeway. The police pursued, resulting in a nationally televised slow-speed follow of a white Ford Bronco belonging come ex-NFL player Al "A.C." Cowlings, who was in ~ the wheel if Simpson remained in the backseat.

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Arrest and Plea

Simpson lastly surrendered voluntarily the evening of June 17 at his Brentwood mansion. Although he was discovered to it is in in possession that a gun, his passport, $9,000 in cash and also a disguise, he insisted that he "wasn't running." Later, that pleaded "absolutely, positively, 100 percent no guilty" come the killing charges.

Murder Trial

Simpson’s criminal trial because that the murders, dubbed the "Trial of the Century," commenced v opening declaration on January 24, 1995, and lasted until Simpson’s acquittal top top October 3, 1995.

The jury in Simpson’s criminal killing trial was sequestered for nearly nine months, longer than any jury had been to day in California history.

'Dream Team' Lawyers

Simpson assembled a legitimate "dream team" that lawyers the reportedly expense him an approximated $50,000 a day, which Simpson apparently paid because that in component by marketing football memorabilia. The dream team was headed through Johnnie Cochran along with Robert Kardashian, Robert Shapiro, Barry Scheck, Alan Dershowitz and F. Lee Bailey. Despite strong evidence versus Simpson, the lawyers properly raised doubts around the handling of the evidence.

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Lead prosecutor Marcia Clark appeared to have a solid case against Simpson, as a glove equivalent the one discovered near the dead bodies surfaced top top Simpson's property, when DNA testing linked him to the bloodstains left behind. However, Cochran famously dismissed the matching gloves in his closing statements, noting, "If it doesn't fit, you need to acquit."


On October 3, 1995, the jury found Simpson no guilty of one of two people murder. The was one of the most-watched occasions in tv history, with 150 million human being tuning in come hear the verdict.

READ MORE: O.J. Simpson murder Case: A Timeline of the "Trial of the Century"