343. O.J. Simpson: American Hero and Villain

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No name evokes more controversy in the United States than O.J. Simpson. He has been in the American spotlight for decades ever since he was a star football player at the University of Southern California, a premier academic university which is primarily known for its full, rich football tradition.

USC is one of the greatest places for future pro football players to get their start. Simpson knew this when he transferred to the school in the mid-1960s from San Francisco Community College. At USC, Simpson found fame. His fortune was to come later. He helped the university reach the coveted Rose Bowl berth in 1968, following an outstanding 1967 season where he led the nation in rushing yards. His 64-yard run against arch-rival UCLA, in what many people say was the greatest game in college football history, is what legends are made of. Simpson later played in the National Football League, where he gained more fame and fortune. Upon retirement, he turned to an acting career where he starred in many commercials, and eventually movies.

Unfortunately, Simpson's life took a tragic turn years later. He was accused of murdering his wife, and her friend in the early 90s. His trial was one of the most watched events in the history of television. Simpson was acquitted of the murder, due largely to his "Dream Team" of the high-priced attorneys. Many people believed that Simpson committed the murder and got away with it.

Simpson was later convicted in a Nevada court for several offenses, and is currently serving time in prison. Many believe this conviction was retribution for his earlier crimes.

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