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O.J. Simpson, a former NFL star running back who later in life went into acting and other ventures, has reportedly died according to a family statement. Via social media, the family of O.J. Simpson says that he passed away on April 10 after a battle with cancer.

As seen on X, formerly Twitter, Simpson’s family says that his loved ones surrounded the former Buffalo Bills star during his transition.

From X:

On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer.

He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.

-The Simpson Family

The news came as a shock to many, although Simpson hasn’t been in the public eye as of late. In the 1990s, Simpson was villainized after the brutal murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and friend Ron Goldman, and the fact he was later acquitted of all charges. Once seen as a popular pitchman for ads and a likable figure, the controversy surrounding his wife’s murder, including the late Johnnie Cochran’s defense tactics, painted Simpson in an unfavorable light with many.

In his later years, Simpson made a return to public life via reality television and became a known presence on social media, often taking pains to inform the public that it was him behind his account activity and not the work of others. Simpson further soured his image by way of his 2007 book, If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.

O. J. Simpson was born Orenthal James Simpson on July 9, 1947 in San Francisco, Calif. Growing up in the housing projects of Potrero Hill, Simpson was involved with street gangs but a chance meeting with baseball legend Willie Mays sparked him to leave that life alone. Although Simpson was a good athlete while playing football at Galileo High School, his grades didn’t attract attention from larger programs.

After a stint in junior college, Simpson found his way to the University of Southern California. In his two years with the Trojans, Simpson led the nation in yards among collegiate running backs and earned the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and the Walter Camp Award in his senior year in 1968. The Trojans won the national title the year prior.

Simpson was selected first overall in the AFL-NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills and had to work his way into becoming a standout player, finding his footing some three seasons in. After leaving football, Simpson leaned more into acting, most notably in The Naked Gun franchise among other roles.

Simpson’s romance with Nicole Brown Simpson began when he was still married to his first wife, Marguerite, with whom he had three children. Simpson had two children with Nicole Simpson but their marriage ended in 1992 and in that time, Simpson pleaded no contest to spousal abuse. The pair attempted to reconcile but it was a reportedly volatile relationship.

On X, folks are reacting to the news with memes and other sharp words. You can view those replies in the gallery below.

O.J. Simpson was 76.

Photo: VINCE BUCCI / Getty