Retired football player Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson is known for his numerous sports achievements as well as his widely publicized 1994 murder trial over the deaths of girlfriend Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ronald Goldman. Click to see his life in photos.
Running back O.J. Simpson #32 of the San Francisco 49ers speaks during a pregame ceremony before the final home game of his career against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Candlestick Park on December 9, 1979 in San Francisco, California.
Before the infamous “Trial of the Century,” O.J. Simpson was better known as one of the most famous running backs in football history. The gruesome double murder in 1994 of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman forever stained the golden reputation of the then-favorite and famous athlete, actor and broadcaster. Simpson looks on from the sidelines during an NCAA college football game circa 1968.
Orenthal James Simpson was born in July 9, 1947. He was raised by his mother in the Potero Hill district of San Francisco, California, a largely black community. He also grew up with one brother and two sisters.
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He played both offensive and defensive positions at City College of San Francisco from 1965 to 1966. His skills on the field were noticed and won him an athletic scholarship to University of Southern California, where he would prove to be one of the best college football players of all time. O.J. Simpson, (#32) tailback of the University of Southern California Trojans football team, runs the ball up field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.
In 1967, during his junior year, he was a Heisman Trophy candidate and starred in the famed USC vs UCLA football game. In 1988, The Sporting News' "College Football's Twenty-Five Greatest Teams" called the game in which Simpson ran 64 yards for the touchdown to tie the game one of the greatest of the 20th Century. USC Trojans running back O.J. Simpson accepts the Heisman Trophy on December 5, 1968, at the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan, New York.
Simpson's electrifying performances garnered the attention of professional teams, and he was the No. 1 NFL draft pick in 1969. The running back debuted as a professional football player for the Buffalo Bills and went on to some memorable individual accomplishments while with the team until he was traded in 1978 to the San Francisco 49ers. Here, Simpson (#32) of the Buffalo Bills carries the ball against the New York Jets during an NFL football game at War Memorial Stadium October 4, 1970. Simpson played for the Bills from 1969-77.
Simpson married Marguerite L. Whitely in June 1967. They had three children together: Arnelle L. Simpson, Jason L. Simpson, and Aeren Lashone Simpson. Their youngest daughter, Aeren, died before her second birthday, when she drowned in their family swimming pool. Simpson and Whitely divorced shortly after this event.
As his fame grew, Simpson took on roles in TV and film. He played a narcotics agent hunting an international heroin smuggler in the 1976 film, "The Cassandra Crossing."
Simpson is seen here in in this 1978 Hertz advertisement.
Simpson appeared as Catlett in the 1979 movie "Firepower."
Comedian Bill Cosby chats with Simpson at Cosby's celebrity tennis tournament on April 14, 1973 in Los Angeles, California.
Simpson worked as a commentator for Monday Night Football and The NFL on NBC. Here he is reporting at a football game, circa 1980.
Football greats Joe Namath, left, and Simpson, right, stand in front of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, one day before their official induction into the sports shrine, on August 2, 1985.
Simpson married Nicole Brown in February 1985. They had two children: Sydney Brooke Simpson and Justin Ryan Simpson. Simpson was arrested for spousal battery in 1989, to which he pleaded no contest. He was separated from Brown, to whom he was paying child support, when Brown was murdered.
This combo shows Simpson, left, and victims Nicole Brown Simpson, center, and Ron Goldman, both of whom were murdered on June 12, 1994.
The crime that led to the "Trial of the Century" occurred 20 years ago this week when the bodies of Nicole Brown Simspon, ex-wife of NFL Hall of Fame football player OJ Simpson, and a friend were discovered outside a West LA condominium, setting in motion a quickly developing series of events that ended with a slow-speed pursuit viewed by millions.
This is the booking image for Simpson, taken Friday, June 17, 1994, after he surrendered to authorities at his Brentwood estate in Los Angeles.
Mall shoppers in Tampa, Fla., watch banks of televisions in an electronics store, June 20, 1994, as Simpson, center in TV screen, is arraigned in Los Angeles, Calif., for the alleged murder of his ex-wife and her male friend.
1994 covers of Time and Newsweek with the same police photo of Simpson. The covers sparked a controversy over photo manipulation, with some accusing TIME of darkening Simpson's skin to make him appear more menacing.
In this Wednesday, June 21, 1995 photo, Simpson holds up his hands before the jury after putting on a new pair of gloves (similar to the infamous bloody gloves) during his double-murder trial in Los Angeles.
Prosecutor William Hodgman and defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr., stand during discussion with Judge Lance Ito at a hearing for Simpson in Los Angeles, July 29, 1994. Simpson and attorney Robert Shapiro listen.
British national newspaper headlines react to the news that O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of the double-murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, in first editions published in London early Wednesday October 4, 1995.
Getty Images via Las Vegas Metro Police
Simpson is seen in this photo released October 3, 2008 by the Las Vegas Metro Police after he was taken into custody following a 12 count robbery conviction. He was convicted of robbing two sports-memorabilia dealers in a hotel room in Las Vegas at gunpoint.
This May 13, 2013 photo shows O.J. Simpson during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas. Simpson's lawyers submitted a supersized appeal May 21, 2014, asking the Nevada Supreme Court for a new trial in his 2007 Las Vegas armed robbery case.