Former American footballer and actor OJ Simpson has passed away at the age of 76, his family confirmed the news on Thursday.

Simpson died of cancer on Wednesday”, a family statement read.

“Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren.”

In 1994, Simpson was arrested as a suspect in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.

The pair was found stabbed to death outside Ms Brown’s home in Los Angeles. Simpson became an immediate person of interest in the case.

In October 1995, Simpson was acquitted for the murder charges.

In 2007 he was arrested and sentenced up to 33years for a number of felony counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. Simpson was released on parole on Oct. 1, 2017.

Details concerning his funeral will be announced in due course.