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 O.J. Simpson

 If I Did It by O.J. Simpson

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O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson at his 1995 murder trial

 

Orenthal James "O. J." Simpson (born July 9, 1947), is a former college and National Footbal League star, football broadcaster, television and movie actor, television commercial spokesmen, and a now a convicted felon. His football exploits earned him the nickname "The Juice," which is a play on his initials of O.J.

Orenthal James Simpson grew up in the poorer neighborhoods of San Francisco. As a youth, Simpson ran with a street gang called the "Persian Warriors," and frequently got into fights and other trouble. Despite this he became a star running back on the Galileo High School football team. His high school football exploits led him to continue playing football at City College of San Francisco, where he set rushing records that would stand for over a quarter of a century. After a year and a half at City College, Simpson transferred to the University of Southern California (USC), where he set many rushing records, and where he won the coveted Heisman Trophy in 1968. At USC in 1967, O.J. Simpson led the nation with 1,451 yards rushing and he scored 11 touchdowns. In 1968, Simpson rushed for 1,709 yards and 22 touchdowns, which earned him the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and the Walter Camp Award. O.J. Simpson still holds the record for the Heisman's largest margin of victory. In the 1969 Rose Bowl, Simpson ran for 171 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run in a 16–27 loss.

Simpson's football success in college led to his selection as the number one pick in the 1969 AFL-NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. With the Bills, O.J. Simpson became the first professional football player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season (1973). While five other players have now passed the 2,000 rush yard mark in a year, Simpson is still the only player to ever rush for more than 2,000 yards in a 14-game season ( the NFL changed to a 16-game season in 1978). Simpson also remains as the record-holder for the single season yards-per-game average which currently stands at 143.1 yards per game. O.J. Simpson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

Following his football career, O.J. Simpson accelerated his acting career and also became a television sports commentator. One of O. J. Simpson's best known roles on television was as the spokesman for the Hertz rental car company. Hertz commercials featured Simpson running through airports, suggesting he was back on the football field as the star runner.

In 1995, Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. After a lengthy and very well-publicized trial, Simpson was acquitted of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. The trial, the People v. Simpson was, at the time, referred to as the "Trial of the Century." This trial propelled many of the participants into the public spotlight, and featured a group of well-known defense lawyers dubbed as legal " Dream Team." Simpson's defense lawyers included Robert Kardashian, Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Barry Scheck, and Johnnie Cochran.

Though acquited, many people still considered Simpson to be guilty. Surveys detected a racial divide on this issue though, with most African-Americans believing Simpson innocent, while most white Americans saw him as guilty. In 1997, a civil court found Simpson responsible for their wrongful deaths of Brown and Goldman, and ruled against him for a $33.5 million judgment which Simpson was ordered to pay. In 2006, O.J. Simpson once again entered the spotlight by producing a book, titled, If I Did It (2006), in which Simpson writes a first-person fictional account of the murders as if he had actually committed them. This controvesial book was withdrawn by the publisher just before its release. The book was later released by the Goldman family with the edited title of If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer. The Goldman family remains convinced that O.J. Simpson killed Nicole Brown.

In September 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and charged with several felonies, including armed robbery and kidnapping. In 2008 he was found guilty and sentenced to a 33-year prison sentence, with a minimum of of nine years in prison without a chance of parole. Orenthal James Simpson is currently serving his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada.

In June of 2011, O.J. Simpson again returned to the public eye as speculation rose about a potential interview with Oprah Winfrey, who publicly commented that she wanted to interview O.J. Simpson for her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), and wanted to ask him if he did, indeed, kill Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman.

  

O.J. Simpson Mug Shot
O.J. Simpson's mug shot after his arrest for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

 

O.J. Simpson Football Awards and Honors:

1968: Heisman Trophy

1968: Maxwell Award

1968: UPI Player of the Year

1967: Walter Camp Award

1967: UPI Player of the Year

1973: NFL MVP

1973: NFL Offensive Player of the Year

1973: Bert Bell Award

1973: Pro Bowl MVP

UPI AFL-AFC Player of the Year (1972, 1973, 1975)

1973: AP Man Athlete of the Year

NFL Pro Bowl selection (1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976)

NFL All-Pro selection (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976)

NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team

NFL 1970s All-Decade Team

 

O.J. Simpson Filmography:

Year
Film/TV Show
Role
Notes

1968

Ironside

Onlooker – uncredited

TV Episode – "Price Tag Death"

1968

Dragnet 1969

Student

TV

1969

Medical Center

Bru Wiley

TV Episode "The Last 10 Yards"

1971

Why?

The Athlete

short film

1972

Cade's County

Jeff Hughes

TV Episode "Blackout"

1973

Here's Lucy

Himself

(TV series) episode "The Big Game"

1974

The Klansman

Garth

oj

1974

O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose

Himself

TV documentary

1974

The Towering Inferno

Jernigan

oj

1976

The Cassandra Crossing

Haley

oj

1976

Killer Force

Alexander

oj

1977

A Killing Affair

Woodrow York

TV

1977

Roots

Kadi Touray

oj

1978

Capricorn One

Cmdr. John Walker

oj

1979

Firepower

Catlett

oj

1979

Goldie and the Boxer

Joe Gallagher

TV (executive producer)

1980

Detour to Terror

Lee Hayes

TV (executive producer)

1981

Goldie and the Boxer Go to Hollywood

Joe Gallagher

TV (executive producer)

1983

Cocaine and Blue Eyes

Michael Brennen

TV (executive producer)

1984

Hambone and Hillie

Tucker

oj

1985–1991

1st & Ten

T.D. Parker

Five episodes

1987

Back to the Beach

Man at Airport

Uncredited

1987

Student Exchange

Soccer Coach

TV

1988

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

Detective Nordberg

oj

1989

In the Heat of the Night

Councilman Lawson Stiles

TV episode "Walkout"

1991

The Naked Gun 2: The Smell of Fear

Detective Nordberg

oj

1993

CIA Code Name: Alexa

Nick Murphy

oj

1993

No Place to Hide

Allie Wheeler

oj

1994

Naked Gun 33?: The Final Insult

Detective Nordberg

oj

1994

Frogmen

John 'Bullfrog' Burke

unaired TV movie

2006

Juiced with O. J. Simpson

Himself

TV pay-per-view

Links and Resources:

Can O.J. Simpson Save the OWN Network?--TV.com

Today in the news: Oprah wants O.J. confession--News-Star.com

Fallen Hero: When O.J. Simpson was the pride of City College--ETC.

O.J. Simpson--IMDB

O.J. Simpson-NFL.com-player stats and information

O.J. Simpson Criminal Trial Coverage --From Court TV

Famous American Trials: The O. J. Simpson Trial

5 year retrospective --From Jurist

http://www.cnn.com/US/OJ/

O.J. Simpson Verdict Ten Years Later (PBS Frontline streaming video)

The Blog of Death: Robert Kardashian

Robert Kardashian--Wikipedia article

O. J. Simpson murder case--Wikipedia article