O.J. Simpson (born 9.7.1947)
OJ Simpson is a former American football player. Although he was famous for his sporting achievements, he gained notoriety when he was accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, her friend.
OJ Simpson: Childhood
OJ Simpson was born in San Francisco, California. His parents were Eunice and James 'Jimmy' Lee Simpson. They separated in 1952. OJ has one brother, Melvin Leon 'Truman' Simpson and two sisters, Shirley Simpson-Baker and Carmelita Simpson-Durio.
OJ attended Galileo High School, where he played for the school football team, the Galileo Lions. He later played for the Junior All College American team for the City College of San Francisco.
OJ Simpson: Athletic career
OJ Simpson gained a scholarship to the University of Southern California, for his athletic ability. He played running-back for the University team between 1967-8. In 1967 he ran for 1451 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. Again, in 1968, he led the nation, running 1709 yards.
Simpson was a key player in what is regarded as one of the greatest American football games of the 20th century. Starring in the 1967 USC vs. UCLA football game, his 64-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter tied the game.
The next year, he won the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award as well as the Heisman Trophy.
OJ Simpson fared badly in his early NFL career. He played on struggling Buffalo Bills teams and only averaged 622 yards for his first three seasons. His first 1000+ rush remained elusive until 1972. The next year, he set a record at 2003 yards: the first ever player to push the 2000-yard mark.
In 1985, OJ Simpson was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
OJ Simpson: On-Screen Career
Simpson gained a number of successful movie roles in films such as The Cassandra Crossing and The Towering Inferno as well as The Naked Gun trilogy. He also featured in the successful mini-series Roots.
Simpson was also known for his appearances as a commentator for Monday Night Football and The NFL on NBC. Other presenting roles saw him hosting an episode of the popular TV show Saturday Night Live.
OJ Simpson: Personal Life
Simpson married Marguerite L. Whitley in 1967. They had three children together: Arnelle (b.1968), Jason (b.1970) and Aaren (b.1977). Tragically, Aaren drowned in a swimming pool at the family home just before her second birthday. Marguerite and OJ were divorced in 1979, just months after the incident.
OJ Simpson's second marriage was to Nicole Brown, in 1985. Nicole and OJ had two children, Sydney (b.1985) and Justin (b.1988). The couple divorced in 1992. In 1989, he had been charged with domestic violence against her and pleaded no contest.
In 1994, Nicole was murdered, along with her friend Ronald Goldman. Originally, OJ was charged and tried for the double murder. However, he was acquitted of all criminal charges in the now infamous trial. The jury's decision was televised on 3.10.1995.
A civil court case in 1997 found Simpson guilty of the wrongful death of Goldman and the battery (and, effectively, the death) of Brown. Simpson was made to pay $33,500,000 in damages. Under Californian law, pensions are protected from being used to pay such charges, so in effect, Simpson maintained much of his previous lifestyle, due to the pension he earned from the NFL.
A number of further court cases occurred that were directly linked to the killings. Among the most significant: Goldman's father took Simpson to court to obtain control over his 'right to publicity'; in March 2007, Simpson was ordered by a judge to keep his financial spending to 'ordinary and necessary' living costs.
It has been reported that Simpson owes $1,435,484.17 in unpaid taxes to the State of California.
In a case unrelated to the previous murder trial, Simpson was involved in a police investigation into an armed robbery at a hotel-casino. The incident occurred in September 2007 when a group of men entered the building and stole some sports memorabilia at gunpoint. OJ was arrested and held without bail. He was charged with criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, assault, robbery and using a deadly weapon. On November 27 he pleaded not guilty to all counts. OJ was arrested in January 2008 for violating the terms of his bail by contacting a co-defendant.
In 2014, it was reported that Simpson had gone on a hunger strike in jail in a bid to end his life after apparently succumbing to depression.