O.J. Simpson, the former NFL player famously acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson, has passed away at the age of 76 after battling cancer, according to his family.

A statement released on Thursday, posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), conveyed the news: "On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace."

Simpson's passing follows several months of speculation that began in February when reports surfaced indicating the athlete was in hospice care and had received a prostate cancer diagnosis. NBC Sports had reported that he was undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

On February 9, Simpson took to X to address the rumors directly. While he didn't mention his cancer diagnosis, he refuted the claims of being in hospice, stating, “No, I am not in any hospice. I don’t know who put that out there.” Additionally, he mentioned plans to host friends for the upcoming Super Bowl in Las Vegas, affirming, “All is well.”

Simpson, a former NFL running back, actor, and broadcaster, gained widespread recognition primarily due to his 1995 acquittal in the high-profile double murder trial involving his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. The trial captivated the nation and became the focus of the Emmy Award-winning series “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

What kind of cancer did O.J. Simpson have?

Simpson's family did not disclose the specific type of cancer he battled in their statement announcing his passing. However, earlier reports this year suggested he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, as reported by NBC News.

In May 2023, Simpson took to X to share a video where he discussed undergoing cancer treatment, though he didn't specify the type. "In recent years, really recent years, I unfortunately caught cancer. So I had to do the whole chemo thing," he mentioned.

He also revealed, "I had COVID and cancer at the same time, unfortunately. I am over the chemo." Despite the challenges, he expressed optimism, stating, "I am healthy now. It looks like I beat it. I’m happy about that."

What to know about prostate cancer

Prostate cancer stands as one of the most prevalent forms of cancer, as highlighted by Mayo Clinic. It manifests within the prostate, described as a "small walnut-shaped gland in males that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm."

Symptoms include:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in urine and semen
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Unexplained weight loss

Prostate cancer is highly treatable when detected early, typically exhibiting slow growth and remaining confined to the prostate gland. However, certain aggressive types may spread rapidly.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation advises Black men and those with a family history of cancer to commence screening at age 40, while the recommended age for others is 45.

Black men face a heightened risk of prostate cancer compared to other racial groups and are more susceptible to aggressive or advanced forms of the disease. According to NBC News, Black men in the U.S. are twice as likely as white men to succumb to prostate cancer. Research indicates that this may be attributed to lower rates of screening and treatment among Black men.

While the exact cause of prostate cancer remains unknown, several risk factors have been identified. These include age over 50, a family history of breast or prostate cancer, and obesity.