Key moments in OJ Simpson's life

Imprisoned former NFL star O.J. Simpson will be back in the spotlight today when he appears at a parole hearing; if parole is granted the 70-year-old could be released from prison as early as October.

From his rise to football stardom to his nearly decade spent behind bars in Nevada, here is a look back at key moments in Simpson’s life.

In the 1960s, Simpson became a college football star as a running back for the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 1968, he won college football’s top award, the Heisman Trophy.

In 1969, Simpson was the first pick in the NFL draft, and he made a name for himself playing for the Buffalo Bills.

In 1973, he became the first in the NFL to rush for 2,000 or more yards in one season.

Simpson retired in 1979 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

Simpson left football behind for Hollywood, appearing in popular Hertz commercials in the 1970s as well as films including “Capricorn One” in the 1970s and “The Naked Gun” films in the ’80s and ’90s.

Simpson, already a father to three children with ex-wife Marguerite Whitley, married Nicole Brown in 1985. They had two children, Sydney and Justin.

In 1992, Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson divorced.

The night of June 12, 1994, Brown Simpson and her family dined at a Los Angeles restaurant and she later returned to her Los Angeles home. Ron Goldman, a waiter at that restaurant, went to Brown Simpson’s home to return glasses her mother had left at the restaurant.

Around midnight, Brown Simpson and Goldman were found stabbed to death at Brown Simpson’s home.

Simpson was in Los Angeles the evening of June 12 but took a late flight that night to Chicago. When he returned to Los Angeles the next day, he was interviewed by police, but not immediately arrested.

On June 17, 1994, prosecutors ordered Simpson to surrender, but instead he fled in a white Ford Bronco with his friend, leading police on a slow-speed chase that brought Southern California freeways to a standstill.

News helicopters flew overhead documenting the chase, and Angelinos gatherers on the roadways, and in front of their televisions, to watch in real time.

Simpson then surrendered and was arrested.

In 1995, Simpson’s televised criminal trial captivated the nation.

Defense attorneys claimed Simpson was wrongly accused but prosecutors argued that Simpson was a controlling husband who abused Brown Simpson. Prosecutors also pointed to blood found in Simpson’s car and home, and the fact that he was unaccounted for for over an hour on the night of the killings.

During the trial, the prosecution asked Simpson to put on gloves believed to have been worn by the killer, but they didn’t appear to fit properly.

Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran famously told the jury in his closing argument, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

On Oct. 3, 1995, Simpson was acquitted of all criminal charges. He has always maintained his innocence.

In 1997, a civil jury found Simpson liable for wrongful death in the double murder. Simpson was ordered to pay $ 33.5 million in damages to the Brown and Goldman families.

In September 2007, Simpson led a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel and casino to steal what he claims was his own sports memorabilia at gunpoint.

Simpson was charged with a number of felony counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery.

In 2008, Simpson was found guilty in the botched robbery and sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.

As Judge Jackie Glass prepared to sentence him, she said to Simpson, “Earlier in this case, at a bail hearing, I asked, I said, to Mr. Simpson, I didn’t know if he was arrogant or ignorant or both. And during the trial and through this proceeding, I got this answer, and it was both.”

Glass said of the crime, “That was not a, ‘Oh, just give me my stuff back, I want my stuff.’ That was, ‘Nobody leave the room.’ That was actually a very violent event. … At least one gun was drawn. The potential for harm to occur in that room was tremendous. When you take a gun with you and you take men with you, to show, in a show of force, that’s not just a, ‘Hey, give me my stuff back.’

“I can’t ignore that the behavior at the time on September 13 was reckless,” she added. “The law was broken.”

In 2013, after several years behind bars at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, Simpson’s bid for a new trial was rejected, but he was granted parole that same year on some of the charges, based on good behavior.

He apologized for his actions during a 2013 parole hearing, saying, “I didn’t know I was doing anything illegal, so I’m sorry. … I’m sorry for all of it.”

Simpson was not released from prison at that time, since his prison sentences were set to run consecutively. He had to wait until this year to appear again before the parole board.

Today, Simpson will appear in front of a Nevada parole board.

Simpson, his attorney and a Simpson family member are expected to speak at the hearing, Nevada Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Keast said.

Bruce Fromong, one of the robbed memorabilia dealers, confirmed to ABC News that he will speak in Simpson’s favor at the hearing.

Simpson’s fate will be determined the same day as the hearing.

If parole is granted, he could be released as early as October. If he is not granted parole, commissioners will decide the date of the next parole board meeting, which could be as far away as five years.

A July 14 statement on behalf of Ron Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, and sister, Kim Goldman, released by their publicity firm, said: “Fred and Kim Goldman anxiously await” Simpson’s parole hearing.

“While they respect the legal process, they are feeling both frustration and anticipation over how this will change their lives again should Simpson be released. As with all victims and survivors, they will remain patient and optimistic that the system will do what is necessary to ensure the public’s safety remains a priority and that proper justice will be served.”

ABC News’ Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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