The Fate Of O.J. Simpson's Body Has Been Revealed

He made headlines throughout his life; it could have been predicted that he'd make them in death. O.J. Simpson's death from prostate cancer on April 10, 2024 topped the pages of news outlets across America. Many stories run after his death were retrospectives on Simpson's life, his football career, and his infamous trial for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown. That trial, and the widespread sense that Simpson literally got away with murder, have forever clouded his reputation, not helped by Simpson's later behavior and grisly "hypothetical" confessional book. Some of the reactions to his death were quite dark.

The reactions of those who remained close to Simpson, and news on how he would be laid to rest, were less prominent. Simpson's children by Brown were at his bedside when he died, as were his children with his first wife Marguerite Whitley. Their statement, shared on their father's X (formerly Twitter) account, asked for "privacy and grace," and as of April 15, no concrete plans for Simpson's funeral service were made public. But it has been confirmed by attorney and executor of Simpson's estate Malcolm LaVergne (via the New York Post) that Simpson's body will be cremated, per his wishes. The expected cremation date was April 16, pending the sign-off of all his living children.

Simpson's brain will not be donated to CTE studies

In announcing O.J. Simpson's cremation, attorney Malcolm LaVergne emphatically denied that any part of his client's body would be donated to medical science. Specifically, he pushed back on any idea of Simpson's brain being studied. "With O.J. everything's wild, but I've been getting calls from medical centers that are doing CTE testing asking me for OJ's brain...that is not happening," he told the New York Post. "I may consult with the children on it, but I haven't heard anything about it, so it's just not going to happen."

CTE refers to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disorder believed to be caused by repeated head injuries that can cause significant cognitive impairment (per the Mayo Clinic). The condition has increasingly been seen as a major risk of professional football; one study by Boston University found that 92% of former NFL players investigated had CTE, compared to less than 1 percent of non-NFL brains from another study. The extent of the risk, and what compensation injured players might be owed, have become contentious issues within football.

Whether Simpson had CTE will never be known if his brain is cremated; the disease can't be confirmed without an autopsy. But there were anecdotal claims by a prison guard that, while serving nine years for kidnapping and armed robbery, Simpson was delusional and forgetful. A former manager added that Simpson often argued with himself, and a friend claimed that Simpson had frequent, debilitating headaches. Simpson himself once expressed concerns that he may have developed CTE.