This Day in Black History: July 9, 1947

Former NFL star O.J. Simpson was born in San Francisco on July 9, 1947.

On July 9, 1947, NFL legend and former actor O.J. Simpson was born in San Francisco. His fame as one of the NFL's greatest running backs would later be overshadowed by personal scandal. Most notably, the high-profile trial surrounding the murder of his ex-wife and her friend in 1994.
Born Orenthal James Simpson, he played football at Galileo High School before being awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1967. That year, he led the nation in rushing yards. The following year, he was awarded the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Award.

In 1969, Simpson was drafted to the Buffalo Bills. From 1972 to 1976, he won the NFL's rushing title four times. An injury cut Simpson's 1977 season short and he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers before the 1978 season. After his retirement in 1979, he had a successful run in acting, appearing in Roots and The Naked Gun trilogy, among other titles, and served as a sports commentator for NBC. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Also that year, Simpson married Nicole Brown and the couple had two children. However, the relationship was rocky, with O.J. Simpson pleading no contest to a domestic violence charge in 1989. The couple divorced in 1992. In 1994, O.J. Simpson would be charged with murdering Nicole Brown and her friend, Ronald Goldman. In what was dubbed "the trial of the century" in 1995, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of both the murders.

However, Simpson's personal life again took a turn for the worse in 2008, when he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping, among other charges, stemming from a sports memorabilia heist. He is currently serving a 33-year prison sentence at a Las Vegas facility.
BET Sports News - Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter. 

(Photo: John Locher - Pool/Getty Images)

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.

By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.