Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson dies of cancer at age 76 | The Sporting Base
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Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson dies of cancer at age 76

April 12, 2024

Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson dies of cancer at age 76

According to Chris Iorfida of CBC News on Thursday, former National Football League Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson of San Francisco, California passed away at the age of 76 of cancer. Simpson played 11 seasons in the NFL from 1969 to 1979. He was with the Buffalo Bills from 1969 to 1977, and the San Francisco 49ers in 1978 and 1979.

Simpson was selected to the Pro Bowl six times (1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976). In 135 games, he had 2404 rushing attempts for 11236 rushing yards, and 61 rushing touchdowns. Simpson also had 203 receptions for 2142 receiving yards and 14 touchdown catches.

Four times Simpson led the NFL in rushing yards. He had 1251 yards in 1972, 2003 yards in 1973, 1817 yards in 1975, and 1503 yards in 1976. Simpson also led the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns in 1973, 16 rushing touchdowns in 1975, 2073 yards from scrimmage in 1973, 2243 yards from scrimmage in 1975, and 1762 yards from scrimmage in 1976.  In 1973, Simpson was named the Associated Press Most Valuable Player. He was also the first overall pick of the 1969 NFL Draft out of the University of Southern California, and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

You could make the argument that Simpson was one of two great running backs in the 1970s. The other was Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers who died in 2022. 

However, Simpson will not only be remembered for being a football player. In the mid 1990s, he was involved in one of the most high profile court cases of all-time. Simpson was arrested and charged for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown, and her friend Ron Goldman. After a massively scrutinized court case, Simpson was acquitted. However, he did lose a subsequent civil suit in 1997.


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