10 things to remember about O.J. Simpson

LOS ANGELES — Ten things to remember about O.J. Simpson, the NFL running back-turned actor who was acquitted of murdering his wife and her friend.

The family announced on Simpson’s official X account that Simpson died Wednesday after battling prostate cancer. Simpson’s attorney confirmed to TMZ he died in Las Vegas.

She was a waitress at the trendy Beverly Hills restaurant, The Daisy. They met when he dined there and they quickly became inseparable. They married in 1985, had two children, Sydney and Justin, and divorced in 1992.

Simpson had three children by his first marriage to Marguerite Whitley: Arnelle, Jason and Aaren, who drowned at the age of 2 in a family swimming pool in 1979.

At the University of Southern California, Simpson won the Heisman Trophy in 1968 and was the first player chosen in the 1969 NFL draft. As a pro, Simpson was the first player to rush for more than 2,000 yards. He was NFL Player of the Year in 1972, 1973 and 1975 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. Simpson played for the Buffalo Bills for nine years and for the San Francisco 49ers for two years.

At the height of his fame, polls indicated he was one of the top three most recognized faces in North America. In 1977, he became the first pro player to make the cover of “Rolling Stone.” In 1978, he became the second professional athlete to host “Saturday Night Live.”

He had roles in “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” (1988), “The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear” (1991) and “The Towering Inferno” (1974). He was considered for the title role in “The Terminator,” but producers feared he was “too nice” to be taken seriously as a cold-blooded killer. He was working on a film called “Frogmen” shortly before the killings.

He made a series of commercials for the Hertz rental car company, including the juggernaut ad that had him jumping over counters at an airport.

The infamous Bronco chase caused one television station to rearrange coverage of an NBA Finals game, featuring the chase on the main screen and the game as an inset. Nearly every network was broadcasting the chase as it headed toward the cemetery where his ex-wife was buried, then wound back to Simpson’s house. Cameras in helicopters showed Simpson holding a gun to his head as his friend Al Cowlings drove. Because the chase was so slow, huge crowds had time to gather on overpasses, where they cheered wildly when he drove by.

Simpson’s frail 73-year-old mother left her wheelchair, hobbled to the witness stand and told jurors how her son had rickets as a child and had inherited rheumatoid arthritis from her, suggesting he was too crippled to kill anyone.

While in jail during his criminal trial, he wrote a book called “I Want to Tell You” with a collaborator. It helped finance his defense. In 2008, he collaborated on a hypothetical confession called, “If I Did It,” which stirred up so much controversy that it was withdrawn from publication. Simpson said he needed money to pay for his children’s education. He called the proceeds “blood money.”

Attorney Johnnie Cochran was not his first attorney. That was Robert Shapiro. Cochran was reluctant to take on the case but was eventually convinced after praying with his pastor. He had been a commentator on the trial before becoming a part of it. He instantly went from being a well-known local attorney to being world famous.

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