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

Who Is O.J. Simpson?

O.J. Simpson is a previous NFL football star, actor, broadcaster and also convicted armed robber and kidnapper well-known for gift acquitted that the killing of Nicole Brown Simpson and also her girlfriend Ronald Goldman. Simpson was a university football superstar at USC, win the Heisman Trophy in 1968. The later enjoyed a record-setting career in the NFL and also tremendous popularity amongst his fans. Between a moderately effective post-playing career as an actor and also broadcaster, Simpson to be charged with murder of his previous wife and also Goldman in 1994. He to be acquitted in a high-profile criminal trial, despite he was discovered liable for their deaths in civil court. In 2008, Simpson was sentenced to approximately 33 year in jail in because that kidnapping and also armed robbery of two sporting activities memorabilia dealers in a las Vegas hotel room in 2007. Soon after gift granted parole, he was 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 offered him the name Orenthal — supposedly the surname of a French actor she liked.

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

Simpson's parental separated in 1952. Along with a brother and also two sisters, the was increased by his mom in the rugged, mostly Black Potrero Hill district of san Francisco. At period 13, he joined a gang referred to as the Persian Warriors. One fight landing him at the san Francisco Youth Guidance facility for almost a mainly in 1962.

Simpson displayed immense promise on the gridiron for Galileo High School, though his negative grades at first impeded his chances of joining a major college football program. After ~ overwhelming the competition at the City university of san Francisco, he to be admitted come the university of southerly California as a halfback.

Football Career

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

Simpson joined the expert Buffalo receipt in 1969 yet did no excel till the offense was tailored to showcase his running. Nicknamed "The Juice," Simpson topped 1,000 yards rushing over five consecutive years (1972–76) and led the national Football organization in that category four times. In 1973, he came to be the first NFL player to sirloin for an ext than 2,000 yards in a solitary season. The running earlier also created league documents (since broken) v his 23 touchdowns in 1975, and 273 rushing yards versus the Detroit Lions top top Thanksgiving work 1976.

Acting and also Commentating Work

After retiring from professional football in 1979, Simpson moved on come a profitable career together a sportscaster and also an actor. He had actually dabbled in exhilaration while tho an energetic athlete, especially playing a man framed because that murder by the police in the 1974 film The Klansman.

Simpson later appeared in The nude Gun (1988) and also its sequels, play a dim-witted assistant detective, and also regularly appeared in TV commercials because that the Hertz rental-car company, where he was viewed leaping over luggage and other obstacles in an initiative to catch a flight. Additionally, he functioned as a commentator because that Monday Night Football and the NFL top top NBC brand.

Wives and also Children

Simpson to be married twice and also had five kids, four of whom space living. Simpson married Marguerite L. Whitley ~ above June 24, 1967. They had three youngsters together, Arnelle, Jason and Aaren. Daughter Aaren Lashone Simpson, who was born in 1977, passed away a month prior to her second birthday when she drowning in the family's swimming pool. Simpson and also Marguerite divorce in 1979.

While still married to his an initial wife, Simpson met waitress Nicole Brown, then just a teenager. Simpson and Brown married in 1985, the same year the was chosen to the pro Football hall of Fame, and also they had actually two kids together, Justin and also Sydney.

Brown Simpson complained about her marital relationship to friends and also family members, telling them that Simpson to be physically abusive. Complying with a fight between the 2 at a 1989 brand-new Year's eve party, in which he allegedly intimidated to kill her, the former football star pleaded no contest to spousal battery. He brushed off the event in an interview with ESPN, noting "We had a fight. Us were both guilty. No one was hurt. It to be no huge deal, and we gained on v our life." She filed because that divorce in 1992.

Deaths of Brown Simpson and Goldman

On June 12, 1994, the bodies of Brown Simpson and also friend Goldman, were discovered stabbed to fatality outside the her condo in Los Angeles' Brentwood area. Evidence led police to suspect Simpson of the murders.

Bronco Chase

Simpson was ordered to surrender by 11 a.m. ~ above June 17 and also instead vanished; he was tracked down later in the day when he do a speak to from his mobile on the Santa Ana Freeway. The police pursued, resulting in a country televised slow-speed follow of a white Ford Bronco belonging to ex-NFL player Al "A.C." Cowlings, who was in ~ the wheel while Simpson was in the backseat.

READ MORE: O.J. Simpson’s Freeway Chase: What occurred to the White Ford Bronco

Arrest and Plea

Simpson finally surrendered voluntarily the night of June 17 at his Brentwood mansion. Although that was discovered to it is in in possession of a gun, his passport, $9,000 in cash and also a disguise, the insisted the he "wasn't running." Later, that pleaded "absolutely, positively, 100 percent not guilty" come the killing charges.

Murder Trial

Simpson’s criminal trial for the murders, called the "Trial the the Century," commenced v opening declaration on January 24, 1995, and also lasted till Simpson’s acquittal ~ above October 3, 1995.

The jury in Simpson’s criminal killing trial to be sequestered for virtually nine months, much longer than any type of jury had been to date in California history.

'Dream Team' Lawyers

Simpson assembled a legit "dream team" that lawyers the reportedly price him an estimated $50,000 a day, i beg your pardon Simpson apparently paid for in part by offering football memorabilia. The dream team was headed through Johnnie Cochran in addition to Robert Kardashian, Robert Shapiro, Barry Scheck, Alan Dershowitz and F. Lee Bailey. Despite strong evidence versus Simpson, the lawyers effectively raised doubts around the managing of the evidence.

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Lead prosecutor Marcia Clark appeared to have actually a solid case versus Simpson, together a glove equivalent the one found near the dead body surfaced top top Simpson's property, when DNA testing linked him come the bloodstains left behind. However, Cochran famously dismissed the corresponding gloves in his closeup of the door statements, noting, "If it doesn't fit, you have to acquit."


On October 3, 1995, the jury discovered Simpson no guilty of one of two people murder. It was among the most-watched events in television history, v 150 million civilization tuning in to hear the verdict.

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