Former boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who was wrongfully convicted of murder, died Sunday at the age of 76.
Carter’s longtime friend and caregiver told The Canadian Press that the former boxer died in his sleep Sunday in his house in Toronto, a city that became his adopted home after moving from his native New Jersey. Carter was battling prostate cancer.
Carter infamously spent 19 years in prison for three murders that he didn’t commit in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1966. After being wrongfully convicted twice, once in 1967 and again following a re-trial in 1976, he was freed in November 1985 when his convictions were overturned following years of appeals and public outcry of racial injustice.
Carter’s unbelievable life and imprisonment was made famous through singer Bob Dylan’s 1975 song, “Hurricane,” and perhaps most memorably via Denzel Washington’s portrayal of the boxer turned prisoner in a 1999 film, also named Hurricane.
Carter was 27-12-1 with 19 knockouts before wrongfully being sent to prison for murder. He spent much of his years being an advocate for prisoners who were wrongfully convicted due to racial injustices.
When learning of his death Sunday, Washington said in a statement to The Associated Press: "God bless Rubin Carter and his tireless fight to ensure justice for all.''
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(Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images)