Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson, nicknamed “The Juice,” is an American former running back, broadcaster, actor, advertising spokesman, and convicted robber and kidnapper. Take a look below for 40 more strange and interesting facts about O. J. Simpson.
1. Simpson attended the University of Southern California, where he played football for the USC Trojans and won the Heisman Trophy in 1968.
2. He played professionally as a running back in the NFL for 11 seasons, primarily with the Buffalo Bills from 1969 to 1977.
3. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1978 to 1979.
4. In 1973, he became the first NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season.
5. He holds the record for the single season yards-per-game average, which stands at 143.1.
6. He was the only player to ever rush for over 2,000 yards in the 14 game regular season NFL format.
7. Simpson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
8. After retiring from football, he began new careers in acting and football broadcasting.
9. In 1994, Simpson was arrested and charged with the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
10. He was acquitted by a jury after a length and internationally publicized trial.
11. The family of the victims subsequently filed a civil suit against him, and in 1997, a civil court awarded a $33.5 million judgment against him for the victims’ wrongful deaths.
12. In 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, and charged with the felonies of armed robbery and kidnapping.
13. In 2008, he was convicted and sentenced to 33 years imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole.
14. He served his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center near Lovelock, Nevada.
15. Simpson was granted parole on July 20, 2017.
16. He was eligible for release from prison on October 1, 2017, and was released on that date.
17. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Simpson is the son of Eunice, a hospital administrator, and Jimmy Lee Simpson, a chef and bank custodian.
18. His father was a well-known drag queen in the San Francisco Bay Area.
19. Later in life, Jimmy Simpson announced that he was gay and died of AIDS in 1986.
20. Nicole Brown moved as a child to California from Germany with her family. She first met Simpson at her place of work, and the two of them pursued a relationship after Simpson’s previous marriage ended. It was rumored that their relationship was rocky and that Brown had tried to file for divorce in the past.
21. The legal team working on behalf of Simpson’s defense was dubbed the “Dream Team,” due to the number of high profile and well-reputed lawyers that were assembled together on his behalf.
22. Although Johnnie Cochran is best remembered as the face of Simpson’s legal team, he was actually no the original lead chair. He took over the position from Robert Shapiro partway through the trial process.
23. The Simpson saga is believed to have been a turning point in the history of American media. By captivating the public with around the clock coverage of the famous car chase and the subsequent trial, the case paved the way for 24/7 news stations like CNN to become more popular.
24. The famous car chase witnessed by the world took place on June 17, 1994, and saw Simpson cruising down the freeway followed by police and helicopters in a now infamous White Ford Bronco vehicle.
25. The man driving the White Ford Bronco during the infamous chase turned out to be Al Cowlings, a longtime friend, and teammate of Simpson’s from his days with the Buffalo Bills.
26. In 1975, People Magazine described Simpson as, “the first black athlete to become a bona fide lovable media superstar.”
27. Chuck Barnes helped him form business relationship with Chevrolet and ABC early in his career.
28. By 1971, New York wrote that Simpson was already wealthy enough to, “retire this week if he wanted to.”
29. His amiable persona and natural charisma landed Simpson numerous endorsement deals.
30. From 1975, he appeared in advertisements with the Hertz rental car company, in whose commercials he was depicted running through airports, serving as an embodiment of speed; Simpson estimated that the very successful campaign raised the recognition rate among people he met from 30% to 90%.
31. He was a longtime spokesman for Pioneer Chicken and owned two franchises, one of which was destroyed during the 1992 Los Angeles riots; as well as HoneyBaked Ham, the pX Corporation, and Calistoga Water Company’s line of Napa Naturals soft drinks.
32. The State of California claims Simpson owes $1.44 million in back taxes.
33. A tax lien was field in his case on September 1, 1999.
34. In the late 1990s, Simpson attempted to register “O. J. Simpson,” “O. J.”, and “The Juice” as trademarks for, “a broad range of goods, including figurines, trading cards, sportswear, medallions, coins and prepaid telephone cards.”
35. In February, 2001, Simpson was arrested in Miami-Dade County, Florida, for simple battery and burglary of an occupied conveyance, for yanking the glasses off another motorist during a traffic dispute three months earlier.
36. If convicted, Simpson could have faced up to 16 years in prison, but he was tried and quickly acquitted of both charges in October, 2001.
37. On December 4, 2001, Simpson’s Miami home was searched by the FBI on suspicion of ecstasy possession and money laundering.
38. On July 4, 2002, Simpson was arrested in Miami-Dade County, Florida, for water speeding through a manatee protection zone and failing to comply with proper boating regulations.
39. The misdemeanor boating regulation charge was dropped, and Simpson was fined for the speeding infraction.
40. In March, 2004, satellite television network DirecTV, Inc. accused Simpson in a Miami federal court of using illegal electronic devices to pirate its broadcast signals. The company later won a $25,000 judgment and Simpson was ordered to pay an additional $33,678 in attorney’s fees and costs.