Infamous USC Trojan alum O.J. Simpson passes away after battle with cancer

Simpson was 76 years old when he passed away due to complications from prostate cancer
Oct 14, 1967; South Bend, IN, USA; FILE PHOTO; Southern California Trojans running back O.J. Simpson
Oct 14, 1967; South Bend, IN, USA; FILE PHOTO; Southern California Trojans running back O.J. Simpson / Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most famous and notorious USC Trojans of all time, O.J. Simpson, passed away on Wednesday. He was 76.

The news was broken by his family on social media. The family asked for "privacy and grace" during "this time of transition".

On the football field, Simpson was dominant. Off the field, he was embattled and troubled.

For all the good he did when carrying the football: a Heisman Trophy win in 1968, a member of the 1967 USC National Championship team, a 2-time Unanimous All-American, the first player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, and his 1985 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, he will always be more known for what happened in his life after football.

In 1994, Simpson was accused of the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. He was acquitted in October of 1995 after what was potentially the most famous trial in American history.

However, the legal issues for Simpson were not over. On February 5, 1997, a civil jury in California unanimously found Simpson liable for the death of and battery against Goldman, and battery against Brown.

Simpson was ordered to pay $33,500,000 in damages: $8.5 million in compensatory damages to the Goldman family, and $12.5 million in punitive damages to each family. Again, though, that was not the end of the troubles for Simpson.

In 2007, Simpson was arrested for allegedly breaking into a Las Vegas hotel room and taking at gunpoint sports memorabilia items he said belonged to him. In October of 2008, he was convicted on all charges and he was sentenced to 33 years in prison. In October 2017, he was released from prison by the parole board after having served almost nine years behind bars.

Simpson leaves behind a controversial and complicated legacy. One of the greatest running backs to ever play the sport, he was a national hero during his athletic career.

He continued to build himself into a household name after football by becoming one of the first athletes to star in movies, television shows, and advertisement campaigns. He was almost universally beloved and renowned until the 1994 trial when he became a cultural lightning rod.

It is a reminder that sports don't always transcend life and that our heroes always have flaws. Simpson was a man who had it all and then, in the moment of one unforgettable ride down the highway in the back of a white Ford Bronco in 1994, that all changed.

How the life and legacy of Simpson will be remembered is up to each individual. But there is no denying that his passing brings an end to one of the most unimaginable lives to have ever been lived.