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Rest in power: OJ Simpson

While death is an inevitable part of life, that fact doesn’t make it any easier when it is reported that someone has died.

Orenthal James (O.J.) Simpson, the football legend who rose to impressive heights of success as a popular pitchman in national advertisements before being accused and ultimately acquitted of murdering his ex-wife, died Wednesday. He was 76.

Simpson’s death was announced by his family in a social media post from his account on X, formerly Twitter.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” the post said. “He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace. -The Simpson Family”

It was revealed earlier this year that Simpson was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was seeking treatment. He had been undergoing chemotherapy in Las Vegas, where he called home.

Simpson promptly shot down rumors that he was in hospice.

He filmed a video that he posted to social media in February laughing off the hospice reports.

“No, I’m not in any hospice,” Simpson is shown saying from the driver’s seat of a car.

He said he was “hosting a ton of friends for the Super Bowl here in Las Vegas” and insisted that “all is well.”

After retiring from football, Simpson moved on to a lucrative career in Hollywood that notably also included becoming a spokesperson for the Hertz car rental company that featured the former star athlete running around in airports.

It was at the height of that fame when Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, were found stabbed to death at her Los Angeles area condo on June 13, 1994.

Split from his wife two years prior, the former NFL great immediately became a prime suspect. After agreeing to surrender to the police days later, Simpson reneged and left behind what experts later determined to be a suicide letter. The letter, read by defense attorney Robert Kardashian, added a new wrinkle to the case as a city-wide search for Simpson was underway that eventually resulted in the infamous “white Bronco” chase where police followed a Ford SUV driven by Simpson’s friend, Al Cowling, all on live television.

Simpson eventually pleaded not guilty to double homicide despite mounting evidence against him. He assembled a so-called “Dream Team” of attorneys, including Robert Shapiro and a trio of lawyers who have since died: Johnny Cochran, F. Lee Bailey and Robert Kardashian.

On the morning of Oct. 3, 1995, the jury turned in a not-guilty verdict.

Simpson’s life did not get any easier since his murder acquittal.

A civil suit brought by the families of Nicole and Goldman aimed at Simpson’s finances and earnings. A 2006 book titled “If I Did It” raised speculation that Simpson was the actual killer — or at least knew who ended the life of his ex-wife and her friend.

Simpson was ultimately jailed for 11 years on unrelated robbery and other charges.

After being released in 2018, the Goldman family started to notice that Simpson was able to generate some income, but they were not seeing a dime of the money that the court determined they were owed. As of last year, O.J had reportedly only paid the Goldman family $132,000 of the debt which reportedly ballooned to more than $70 million in part because of interest rates.

This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.

This article originally appeared on NewsOne.

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