Heisman trophy winner, NFL Hall of Famer, TV sports broadcaster and pitchman -- OJ Simpson was one of the most famous people in the world long before the infamous "white Bronco" chase on Southern California freeways. Here's a look at Simpson's life before and after he was put on trial in the deaths of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman.
Running back O.J. Simpson #32 of the San Francisco 49ers speaks during a pregame ceremony before the final home game of his career against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Candlestick Park on December 9, 1979 in San Francisco, California.
Before the infamous “Trial of the Century,” O.J. Simpson was better known as one of the most famous running backs in football history. In this Nov. 9, 1968 file photo, USC's Simpson (32) runs against rivals from Cal Berkeley during an NCAA football game in Los Angeles. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy later that year.
Wearing his No. 32 USC jersey, Simpson looks on from the sidelines during an NCAA college football game in 1968.
Best-known for his football prowess in college, Simpson also was part of a world record-winning track and field relay team. He and his teammates completed the 440-yard relay with a time of 38.6 seconds in the 1967 NCAA track and field meet in Provo, Utah.
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Simpson was raised by his mother in the Potrero Hill district of San Francisco, California, a largely black community. He went on to play both offensive and defensive positions at City College of San Francisco from 1965 to 1966. His skills on the field later won him an athletic scholarship to University of Southern California.
Simpson accepts the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 5, 1968, at the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan, New York City. In 1967, during his junior year, he starred in the famed USC vs UCLA football game. In 1988, The Sporting News' "College Football's Twenty-Five Greatest Teams" called the game in which Simpson ran 64 yards for the touchdown to tie the game "one of the greatest of the 20th Century."
In this Sept. 3, 1977 file photo, Simpson (32) runs past Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Council Rudolph (78) during an NFL football game in Buffalo, New York.
In this Dec. 16, 1973 file photo, Simpson (32) runs against the New York Jets in the first quarter of an NFL football game at Shea Stadium in New York.
Simpson's electrifying performances garnered the attention of professional teams, and he was the No. 1 NFL draft pick in 1969. The running back debuted as a professional football player for the Buffalo Bills. Here, Simpson (32) carries the ball against the New York Jets during an NFL game at War Memorial Stadium on Oct. 4, 1970. He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 1978.
Simpson married Marguerite L. Whitely in June 1967. They had three children together: Arnelle L. Simpson, Jason L. Simpson, and Aeren Lashone Simpson. Their youngest daughter Aeren died before her second birthday, when she drowned in their family swimming pool. Simpson and Whitely divorced shortly after.
As his fame grew, Simpson took on roles in TV and film. He played a narcotics agent hunting an international heroin smuggler in the 1976 film, "The Cassandra Crossing."
This Feb. 24,1978 file photo shows Simpson, center, with actresses Gilda Radner, left, and Jane Curtin as he appeared on NBC's Saturday Night Live in New York.
In this March 24, 1978 file photo, Simpson, left, smiles next to San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. at a news conference where the 49ers announced that Simpson had been traded to them by the Buffalo Bills.
Simpson is seen here in a 1978 Hertz advertisement.
Simpson appeared as Catlett in the 1979 movie "Firepower."
Bill Cosby chats with Simpson at Cosby's celebrity tennis tournament on April 14, 1973, in Los Angeles, California.
Simpson retired from football after the 1979 season, later being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and taking on careers in both acting and football broadcasting. He worked as a commentator for Monday Night Football and The NFL on NBC. In this photo, he is reporting at a football game, circa 1980.
Football greats Joe Namath, left, and Simpson, right, stand in front of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, one day before their official induction into the legendary sports hall, on Aug. 2, 1985.
AP Photo/Ron Heflin, File
In this Nov 25, 1993 file photo, Simpson stands with his then-wife Nicole Brown Simpson while broadcasting on the sidelines during the Thanksgiving Day NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. Simpson married Nicole Brown in February 1985. They had two children: Sydney Brooke Simpson and Justin Ryan Simpson. Simpson was arrested for spousal battery in 1989, to which he pleaded no contest. He was separated from Brown, to whom he was paying child support, when Brown was murdered.
This image shows Simpson, left, and victims Nicole Brown Simpson, center, and Ron Goldman, both of whom were murdered on June 12, 1994.
Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and a friend were discovered dead outside a West LA condominium, setting in motion a quickly developing series of events that ended with a slow-speed highway pursuit viewed by millions.
This is the booking image for Simpson, taken Friday, June 17, 1994, after he surrendered to authorities at his Brentwood estate in Los Angeles.
Mall shoppers in Tampa, Florida, watch banks of televisions in an electronics store, June 20, 1994, as Simpson, seen on the center of the TV screen, is arraigned in Los Angeles in the killings of his ex-wife and her friend.
Simpson holds up his hands before the jury on June 21, 1995, wearing a new pair of gloves – said to be similar to the now-infamous bloody glove recovered from near the crime scene – during his double-murder trial in Los Angeles.
British national newspaper headlines broadcast the Not Guilty verdict reached by jurors in Simpson's trial for the double-murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman in first editions published in London, Oct. 4, 1995.
Simpson enters the courtroom Feb. 4, 1997, during his civil case trial at the Santa Monica Courthouse in Santa Monica, California. Simpson, who was questioned in a deposition for the trial, was found liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. He was ordered to pay surviving family members $33.5 million.
Simpson sits before the start of the third day of jury selection in a "road rage" trial on Oct. 11, 2001, in Miami, Florida. He was acquitted of charges for a Dec. 2000 attack on a Miami motorist.
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Simpson signs a fan's shirt during a visit to the hip-hop concert the "The First Damn Birthday Jam" on Aug. 24, 2001, at TECO arena in Estero, Florida.
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Simpson and friend on the red carpet before the premiere of "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" at the Palms casino on Aug. 6, 2005, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Simpson arrives at the Jermaine Dupri & The Crown Royal's Kentucky Derby Bash at Jillians on May 6, 2005, in Louisville, Kentucky.
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Simpson signs an autograph for a member of the military while walking through the Paddock area during the 133rd Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2007, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
Simpson is a fan in the stands on Kentucky Derby day May 5, 2007, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Later that year, a federal bankruptcy judge awarded the rights to a book by Simpson, in which he discusses how he could have committed the 1994 killings, to Ron Goldman's family as partial payment of the judgment in the civil case over Goldman's murder. The family renamed the book "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer."
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Police released this photo on Oct. 3. 2008, after Simpson was taken into custody by the Las Vegas Metro Police following a 12-count robbery conviction. He was convicted of robbing two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room.
In September 2007, Simpson, accompanied by five men, confronted two sports memorabilia dealers in this Las Vegas hotel room, claiming rightful ownership of most of the memorabilia the dealers intended to sell. This photo of was displayed on a monitor during Simpson's armed robbery trial in Las Vegas.
A general view of the Palace Station Hotel & Casino, the site of the armed robbery for which Simpson was convicted, on Sept. 18, 2007.
Simpson appears in court in 2008 during his trial for armed robbery in Las Vegas.
O.J. Simpson smiles at an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court on May 14, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Simpson was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison for the heist. He is serving that sentence an Lovelock Correctional Center, about 430 miles north of Las Vegas.