O.J. Simpson’s Transformation Through the Years (PHOTOS)

From his glory days in the NFL to his latest court appearance, see photos of Simpson through the years.

Pool photo by Steve Marcus,via Getty

Pool photo by Julie Jacobson,via Getty

Five years after his sentencing for robbery, an almost unrecognizable Simpson appeared in court in a bid for a retrial. From his glory days in the NFL to his infamous murder trial, see photos of his transformation.


Pictured here in his University of Southern California football uniform, the soon-to-be star NFL running back scores a touchdown against Northwestern in 1968.


Capping off his final season at USC, Simpson is photographed with the Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to the best collegiate football player, in New York’s Downtown Athletic Club. In 1999, Simpson’s Heisman sold for $230,000 in a court-ordered auction of his property as part of the settlement of the civil trial that found him liable for the wrongful death of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.


A cameraman gets a close-up shot of Simpson in the first episode of the television series Medical Center, in which he plays an ailing college football star who ruins his career by neglecting his declining health.


He was the first pick of the Buffalo Bills 1969 NFL draft, but Simpson’s career didn’t pick up until the early ’70s. Here, the lean running back kneels for a standard solo shot in 1973, the same year he was named NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year.


The San Francisco 49ers reportedly traded five draft picks to the Buffalo Bills for O.J. Simpson, unaware that the former MVP had a knee injury and arthritis.

Limping, O.J. is escorted off the field after his career-ending game in 1979 in Atlanta.

Nick Ut/AP

O.J. cozies up to then-girlfriend Nicole Brown at a Beverly Hills party in 1980 for the introduction of the Rubik’s Cube in the U.S. O.J. cozies up to then-girlfriend Nicole Brown at a Beverly Hills party in 1980 for the introduction of the Rubik’s Cube in the U.S.


The crowd goes wild as Simpson runs with the Olympic torch through downtown Los Angeles in 1984, a week before the opening ceremonies of the XXIII Summer Olympic Games.

Paul Sakuma/AP

Simpson fools around with Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson in 1984 before that night’s game between the Rams and the 49ers. The week before, Dickerson surpassed Simpson’s 2,003-yard mark to become the NFL’s single-season rushing record holder.


In 1975, Hertz hired the star running back to sprint through airports in three ad spots that netted him $175,000. His appearance in the ads improved Hertz’s image as a quick, hassle-free car service, so much that Simpson’s role expanded to include meet-and-greets and motivational speeches, eventually earning him $550,000 a year.

Ron Heflin/AP

Notice anything suspicious about O.J. in this picture? Standing with wife Nicole on the sidelines of Texas Stadium during the 1993 Thanksgiving Day Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins, Simpson warms his hands in a pair of leather gloves. A prosecutor would later accuse him of skipping his daily arthritis medicine so his hands would swell, making them too large to fit into gloves linked to Brown Simpson’s death.

Joseph Villarin/AP

On June 17, 1994, people across the country were glued to their televisions as they watched a fleet of police cars trail a white Ford Bronco along I-405 in Los Angeles, with murder suspect O.J. Simpson inside.

Los Angeles Police Department,via AP

Later that evening, Simpson surrendered to authorities at his Brentwood estate in L.A. and was taken into custody, where he was charged with two counts of murder in connection with the June 12 deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty

At prosecutors’ requests, Simpson dons a pair of Aris extra-large gloves, the same type that were found at his estate, before the jury in June 1995.

Myung Chun/AP

O.J. smirks and clenches his fists in victory after the jury shocked the nation and acquitted him of double murder on Oct. 3, 1995, ending what the media dubbed “the trial of the century.”

Vince Bucci

All smiles, Simpson crosses the street from the courthouse in Santa Monica on the first day of his trial in a wrongful death civil suit filed against him by the families Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.

Jeffrey Boan/AP

Captured explaining his golf score card to his daughter, Simpson paid $600 to play in Miami’s Celebrity Golf Classic tournament in 1997 to raise money for sickle cell anemia. Protesters gathered to demonstrate against Simpson’s participation, though he wasn’t on the list of invited celebrities.

Damian Dovarganes/AP

Ten years after his acquittal, Simpson signs autographs during an event hosted by the “NecroComicon'” horror convention in Northridge, Calif.

Amy Sancetta/AP

Simpson flashes a smile as he arrives with a pal at the Kentucky Derby in 2007.

Rich Matthews/AP

Simpson Book

Murder, he wrote? Not exactly. In his 2007 memoir, If I Did It, Simpson lays out his side of the story as a regular Joe who was given a bum rap, misportrayed by the media as a wife abuser, murderer, and sociopath during his trial. Apparently, someone at MN1.com thought the memoir should have been more appropriately titled I Did It.

Isaac Brekken/AP

Simpson ran into trouble again in 2007, when he was arrested with five other men and charged with felonies including kidnapping and armed robbery of sports memorabilia collectors at a Las Vegas hotel.

Jae C. Hong/AP

A graying Simpson leaves jail less than a week after he was arrested after posting $125,000 in bail.

Pool photo by Steve Marcus,via Getty

Apparently he thought he had this one in the bag, too. Simpson gives reporters a friendly wave as he leaves court on Oct. 2, 2008, after closing arguments for his trial with co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart. Both were found guilty the next day on all 12 charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery, conspiracy, coercion, burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon.

Pool photo by Isaac Brekken,via AP

Simpson pleads with Judge Jackie Glass, who sentenced him to up to 33 years in prison.

Pool photo by Julie Jacobson,via Getty

Five years in jail can really do a number on one’s physique. An almost unrecognizable Simpson waits to continue testifying in court on May 15 as he seeks a new trial for his 2008 conviction, claiming his lawyer botched his case.