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posted: 10/1/2017 7:00 AM

Key events in OJ Simpson's fall from sports hero, movie star

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  • FILE - In this Dec. 16, 1979 file photo, San Francisco 49ers running back O.J. Simpson is escorted from the field by police after the final NFL football game of his career against in the Atlanta Falcons at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. Simpson retired from football after the 1979 season, later being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and beginning careers in acting and football broadcasting. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.

    FILE - In this Dec. 16, 1979 file photo, San Francisco 49ers running back O.J. Simpson is escorted from the field by police after the final NFL football game of his career against in the Atlanta Falcons at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. Simpson retired from football after the 1979 season, later being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and beginning careers in acting and football broadcasting. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this May 6, 1980, file photo, former football star O.J. Simpson and friend, Nicole Brown get together at party Monday night, in Beverly Hills section of Los Angeles. The couple attended introduction party for a new geometric puzzle invented in Hungary and being distributed here as "Rubik's Cube." A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.

    FILE - In this May 6, 1980, file photo, former football star O.J. Simpson and friend, Nicole Brown get together at party Monday night, in Beverly Hills section of Los Angeles. The couple attended introduction party for a new geometric puzzle invented in Hungary and being distributed here as "Rubik's Cube." A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Aug. 1, 1978. file photo, O.J. Simpson of the San Francisco 49ers is shown on the field drinking water in San Francisco. O.J. Simpson's release from a Nevada prison turns another page in one of the most dramatic falls from grace in American pop culture history. A beloved college and pro football hero in the 1960s and '70s, Simpson went on to become a movie star, sports commentator and TV pitchman in the years before the 1994 killings of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.

    FILE - In this Aug. 1, 1978. file photo, O.J. Simpson of the San Francisco 49ers is shown on the field drinking water in San Francisco. O.J. Simpson's release from a Nevada prison turns another page in one of the most dramatic falls from grace in American pop culture history. A beloved college and pro football hero in the 1960s and '70s, Simpson went on to become a movie star, sports commentator and TV pitchman in the years before the 1994 killings of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Nov. 9, 1968 file photo, Southern California's O.J. Simpson (32) runs against California during a college football game in Los Angeles. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy at Southern California in 1968. Simpson will have a lot going for him when he asks state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, to release him after serving more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.

    FILE - In this Nov. 9, 1968 file photo, Southern California's O.J. Simpson (32) runs against California during a college football game in Los Angeles. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy at Southern California in 1968. Simpson will have a lot going for him when he asks state parole board members Thursday, July 20, 2017, to release him after serving more than eight years for an ill-fated bid to retrieve sports memorabilia. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this June 17, 1994, file photo, a white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings and carrying O.J. Simpson, is trailed by police cars as it travels on a southern California freeway in Los Angeles. Cowlings and Simpson led authorities on a chase after Simpson was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend. On June 17, 1994: Ordered by prosecutors to surrender, Simpson instead flees with a friend in a white Ford Bronco. It's a nationally televised slow-speed chase across California freeways until police persuade him to surrender.

    FILE - In this June 17, 1994, file photo, a white Ford Bronco, driven by Al Cowlings and carrying O.J. Simpson, is trailed by police cars as it travels on a southern California freeway in Los Angeles. Cowlings and Simpson led authorities on a chase after Simpson was charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend. On June 17, 1994: Ordered by prosecutors to surrender, Simpson instead flees with a friend in a white Ford Bronco. It's a nationally televised slow-speed chase across California freeways until police persuade him to surrender.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this June 13, 1994, file photo, former pro running back O.J. Simpson hangs his head as he sits in his attorney's car after being questioned by Los Angeles Police into the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. The bodies of the 35-year-old woman and an unidentified 26-year-old man, apparent stabbing victims, were discovered after midnight Sunday in her Los Angeles area home.

    FILE - In this June 13, 1994, file photo, former pro running back O.J. Simpson hangs his head as he sits in his attorney's car after being questioned by Los Angeles Police into the death of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. The bodies of the 35-year-old woman and an unidentified 26-year-old man, apparent stabbing victims, were discovered after midnight Sunday in her Los Angeles area home.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Oct. 3, 1995 file photo, O.J. Simpson reacts as he is found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, at the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles. At left is defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey and at right is defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. Defense attorney Robert Shapiro is in profile behind them. On Oct. 3, 1995: Simpson is acquitted of murder. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Myung J. Chun/Pool Photo via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 3, 1995 file photo, O.J. Simpson reacts as he is found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, at the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles. At left is defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey and at right is defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. Defense attorney Robert Shapiro is in profile behind them. On Oct. 3, 1995: Simpson is acquitted of murder. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery. (Myung J. Chun/Pool Photo via AP, File)
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this June 5, 1997, file photo, O.J. Simpson reacts as he puts on socks inside his home during a rare at-home interview with The Associated Press in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Three years and two trials after his ex-wife's slaying, O.J. says he's resigned to a future clouded by public disdain and financial ruin but is buoyed by loyal friends and the challenge of raising two children. February 1997: After a trial in a civil suit filed by the victims' families, a jury finds Simpson liable for the deaths and orders he pay survivors $33.5 million. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.

    FILE - In this June 5, 1997, file photo, O.J. Simpson reacts as he puts on socks inside his home during a rare at-home interview with The Associated Press in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Three years and two trials after his ex-wife's slaying, O.J. says he's resigned to a future clouded by public disdain and financial ruin but is buoyed by loyal friends and the challenge of raising two children. February 1997: After a trial in a civil suit filed by the victims' families, a jury finds Simpson liable for the deaths and orders he pay survivors $33.5 million. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2005, file photo, O.J. Simpson signs his "32" football jersey with the word "Heisman" under his autograph during an event hosted by the ''NecroComicon'' horror convention at the Pacific Northridge Cinemas, in Northridge, Calif. O.J. Simpson's release from a Nevada prison turns another page in one of the most dramatic falls from grace in American pop culture history. A jury in Las Vegas convicted him in 2008 of armed robbery and other charges in a confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers that he insists was an effort to retrieve personal items that belonged to him. Simpson, now 70, has served nine years behind bars. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.

    FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2005, file photo, O.J. Simpson signs his "32" football jersey with the word "Heisman" under his autograph during an event hosted by the ''NecroComicon'' horror convention at the Pacific Northridge Cinemas, in Northridge, Calif. O.J. Simpson's release from a Nevada prison turns another page in one of the most dramatic falls from grace in American pop culture history. A jury in Las Vegas convicted him in 2008 of armed robbery and other charges in a confrontation with sports memorabilia dealers that he insists was an effort to retrieve personal items that belonged to him. Simpson, now 70, has served nine years behind bars. A Nevada prison official said early Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, O.J. Simpson, the former football legend and Hollywood star, has been released from a Nevada prison in Lovelock after serving nine years for armed robbery.
    Associated Press

 
 

LAS VEGAS -- O.J. Simpson's story represents one of the most dramatic falls from grace in the history of American pop culture.

A beloved football hero in the 1960s and '70s, he transitioned effortlessly to movie star, sports commentator and TV pitchman in the years that followed.

He kept that role until the 1994 killings of his ex-wife and her friend. A jury acquitted him, but many still believe he carried out the grisly slayings.

Here's a timeline of major events in the life of Simpson, now 70, who was imprisoned in Nevada for armed robbery before he was freed on parole early Sunday.

- 1967: Simpson leads all college running backs in rushing in his first season at the University of Southern California.

- 1968: Simpson wins the Heisman Trophy, college football's top honor.

- 1969: The first pick in the pro draft, Simpson goes to the Buffalo Bills and spends the next nine seasons with the team.

- 1973: He becomes the first NFL player to rush for 2,000 or more yards (2,003) in a season.

- 1979: Simpson retires, having rushed for 11,236 yards, second-most in NFL history at the time.

- 1985: Simpson is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

- 1988: Simpson, who had been appearing in TV shows and commercials since the late 1960s, co-stars in the first of the "Naked Gun" crime comedies, perhaps his most popular role.

- February 1992: Nicole Brown Simpson files for divorce after seven years of marriage. It becomes final Oct. 15.

- June 12, 1994: Nicole Simpson and a friend, Ronald Goldman, are stabbed to death outside her Los Angeles home.

- June 17, 1994: Ordered by prosecutors to surrender, Simpson instead flees with a friend in a white Ford Bronco. It's a nationally televised slow-speed chase across California freeways until police persuade him to surrender.

- June 1995: During Simpson's trial, a prosecutor asks him to put on a pair of gloves believed worn by the killer. The gloves appear too small, leading defense attorney Johnnie Cochran to famously state in his closing argument: "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."

- Oct. 3, 1995: Simpson is acquitted of murder.

- February 1997: After a trial in a civil suit filed by the victims' families, a jury finds Simpson liable for the deaths and orders him to pay survivors $33.5 million.

- July 2007: A federal bankruptcy judge awards the rights to a book by Simpson, in which he discusses how he could have committed the killings, to Goldman's family as partial payment of the judgment. The family renames the book "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer."

- September 2007: Simpson, accompanied by five men, confronts two sports-memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room, angrily telling them that most of the memorabilia they are planning to sell is rightfully his.

- Oct. 3, 2008: A jury finds Simpson and co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart guilty of kidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and conspiracy charges. The other accomplices had taken plea deals and received probation.

- December 2008: Simpson is sentenced to nine to 33 years and sent to Lovelock Correctional Center in northern Nevada.

- October 2010: The Nevada Supreme Court denies Simpson's appeal but grants Stewart a new trial. Stewart takes a plea deal and is released.

- July 25, 2013: Simpson asks the Nevada Parole Board for leniency, saying he has tried to be a model prisoner. He wins parole on some convictions but is left with at least four more years to serve.

- July 20, 2017: A four-member parole board unanimously grants Simpson parole, effective Oct. 1. The board cites the low risk he might commit another crime, his community support and a release plan that includes moving to Florida, where he has family.

- Oct. 1, 2017: Just past midnight, Simpson is released from Lovelock Correctional after serving nine years for the botched hotel-room heist.

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