1992 Los Angeles riots
The 1992 Los Angeles riots were a series of riots and civil disturbances that occurred in Los Angeles County in April and May of 1992. Unrest began in South Central Los Angeles on April 29, after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department for usage of excessive force in the arrest and beating of Rodney King, videotaped and viewed in TV broadcasts; the rioting spread throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area, as thousands of people rioted over a six-day period following the announcement of the verdict. Widespread looting, assault and murder occurred during the riots, estimates of property damage were over $1 billion. With local police overwhelmed in controlling the situation, Governor of California Pete Wilson sent in the California Army National Guard, President George H. W. Bush deployed the 7th Infantry Division and the 1st Marine Division. Order and peace were restored throughout L. A. County, but 63 people were killed, with more than 12,000 arrests. LAPD Chief of Police Daryl Gates, who had announced his resignation by the time of the riots, was attributed with much of the blame.
On the evening of March 3, 1991, Rodney King and two passengers were driving west on the Foothill Freeway through the Lake View Terrace neighborhood of Los Angeles. The California Highway Patrol attempted to initiate a traffic stop. A high-speed pursuit ensued with speeds estimated at up to 115 mph, along freeways and through residential neighborhoods; when King stopped, CHP Officer Timothy Singer and CHP Officer Melanie Singer, arrested him and two other occupants of the car. After the two passengers were placed in the patrol car, five white Los Angeles Police Department officers – Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno, Rolando Solano – surrounded King, who came out of the car last, they tasered him, struck him dozens of times with side-handled batons, tackled him to the ground before handcuffing him. Sergeant Koon testified at trial that King resisted arrest, that he believed King was under the influence of PCP at the time of the arrest, which caused him to be aggressive and violent toward the officers.
Video footage of the arrest showed that King attempted to get up each time he was struck, that the police made no attempt to cuff him until he lay still. A subsequent test of King for the presence of PCP in his body at the time of the arrest was negative. Unknown to the police and King, the incident was captured on a camcorder by local civilian George Holliday from his nearby apartment; the tape was 12 minutes long. While the tape was presented during trial, some clips of the incident were not released to the public. In a interview, on parole for a robbery conviction and had past convictions for assault and robbery, said that he had not surrendered earlier because he was driving while intoxicated under the influence of alcohol, which he knew violated the terms of his parole; the footage of King being beaten by police became an instant focus of media attention and a rallying point for activists in Los Angeles and around the United States. Coverage was extensive during the first two weeks after the incident: the Los Angeles Times published forty-three articles about it, The New York Times published seventeen articles, the Chicago Tribune published eleven articles.
Eight stories appeared including a sixty-minute special on Primetime Live. Upon watching the tape of the beating, LAPD chief of police Daryl Gates said: "I stared at the screen in disbelief. I played the one-minute-50-second tape again. Again and again, until I had viewed it 25 times, and still I could not believe. To see my officers engage in what appeared to be excessive use of force criminally excessive, to see them beat a man with their batons 56 times, to see a sergeant on the scene who did nothing to seize control, was something I never dreamed I would witness." Before the release of the Rodney King tape, minority community leaders in Los Angeles had complained about harassment and excessive use of force by LAPD officers. An independent commission formed after the release of the tape concluded that a "significant number" of LAPD officers "repetitively use excessive force against the public and persistently ignore the written guidelines of the department regarding force," and that bias related to race and sexual orientation were contributing factors in use of excessive force.
The commission's report called for the replacement of both Chief Daryl Gates and the civilian Police Commission. The Los Angeles County District Attorney subsequently charged four police officers, including one sergeant, with assault and use of excessive force. Due to the extensive media coverage of the arrest, the trial received a change of venue from Los Angeles County to Simi Valley in neighboring Ventura County; the jury was composed of nine white people, one bi-racial male, one Latino, one Asian American. The prosecutor, Terry White, was black. On April 29, 1992, the seventh day of jury deliberations, the jury acquitted all four officers of assault and acquitted three of the four of using excessive force; the jury could not agree on a verdict for the fourth officer charged with using excessive force. The verdicts were based in part on the first three seconds of a blurry, 13-second segment of the videotape that, according to journalist Lou Cannon, had not been aired by television news stations in their broadcasts.
The first two seconds of videotape, contrary to the claims made by the accused officers, show King attempting to flee past Laurence Powell. During the next one minute and 19 seco
Los Angeles Conservancy
The Los Angeles Conservancy is a historic preservation organization in Los Angeles, California. It works to document and revitalize historic buildings and neighborhoods in the city; the Conservancy is the largest membership based historic preservation organization in the country. The group was formed in 1978 to preserve Los Angeles Central Library, threatened with demolition; the organization has over 400 volunteers. There is a volunteer Modern Committee, dedicated to the preservation of postwar architecture as well as a Historic Theaters Committee that produces the annual "Last Remaining Seats" film series of classic films in the historic movie palaces in downtown Los Angeles; the executive director since 1992 has been Linda Dishman. The Conservancy hosts an annual preservation awards ceremony at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel and works with the business and development communities to find preservation solutions for historic buildings. Https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g32655-d2227049-Reviews-Los_Angeles_Conservancy_Walking_Tours-Los_Angeles_California.html Some of the Conservancy's biggest success stories have included Bullocks Wilshire, the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, the Wiltern Theater and the oldest operating McDonald's in Downey, CA.
In 2006, the L. A. Conservancy won the American Planning Association's Daniel Burnham award, its most prestigious National Planning award. LA Conservancy Official Website Modern Committee
Hunter (1984 U.S. TV series)
Hunter is an American crime drama created by Frank Lupo, which ran on NBC from 1984 to 1991. It starred Fred Dryer as Sgt. Rick Hunter and Stepfanie Kramer as Sgt. Dee Dee McCall; the title character Sgt. Rick Hunter was a wily, physically imposing rule-breaking homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department; the show's main characters, Hunter and McCall, resolved many of their cases by lethal force, but no more so than many other related television dramas. The show's executive producer during the first season was Stephen J. Cannell, whose company produced the series. Stepfanie Kramer left after the sixth season to pursue other acting and musical opportunities. In the seventh season, Hunter partnered with two different female officers; the show was broadcast in a time slot on Friday night, competing for ratings against the popular Dallas. The show struggled to attract an audience and drew criticism for its graphic depiction of violence. In the first season, the producers sought to create a hook by giving the main character a catchphrase, "Works for me", sometimes used two or three times in an episode and was added to the end of Mike Post and Pete Carpenter's opening theme music.
Several early episodes featured montages set to popular songs from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, in a style similar to Miami Vice. Midway through the first season, with low ratings still, Cannell gave network chief Brandon Tartikoff a private screening of a two-part episode that had not yet aired, asked him to give the show more time to attract viewers. Tartikoff put the show on hiatus until a better time slot could be found. Two months Hunter resumed, this time on Saturday nights, viewership started to rise; the first season finished in 65th place. For its second season, Cannell brought in his mentor, Roy Huggins, best known for his work on Maverick and The Rockford Files, to refine the show; as the new executive producer, Huggins toned down the violence, softened the main character's fractious relationship with his superiors, dropped a backstory concerning Hunter's family ties to the mob, emphasized the chemistry between Hunter and McCall. Huggins moved the show's setting out of the back streets and into the more desirable areas of Los Angeles.
Emboldened and Kramer improvised the scripts, the Hunter character broke the fourth wall for the first time with an aside to viewers at the end of the episode "The Beautiful and the Dead". The most memorable aspect to the second season was the two-part episode "Rape and Revenge", which may have drawn from some diplomatic-immunity scandals that were prominent in the news. A psychopathic foreign diplomat meets McCall and wants to have a relationship with her, after she declines, he brutally rapes her in her home. Hunter is badly shot in the shoulder and must recover then go to the diplomat's home country to dispense justice, Hunter-style; this episode was considered controversial for its realistic and shocking depiction of a violent rape, not common in TV shows at the time. Because of the controversial plot and acting, "Rape and Revenge" is one of the most remembered and popular episodes of the series. Another important aspect to the second season was towards its end, when viewers were first introduced to Hunter and McCall's favorite street informant—the humorous Arnold "Sporty" James, played by Garrett Morris.
Viewers responded to Huggins' changes, the show's second season ended in 38th place in the Nielsen ratings. Hunter continued this progress to become a mainstay of NBC's Saturday-night schedule. In syndication, the season-two introduction was replaced by the season-one introduction; the former showed Hunter entering a women's locker room in one scene, McCall and him pointing their guns at each other with the bathroom light on in another scene. Just before work on the third season began, Dryer threatened to quit unless his salary US$21,000 per episode, was raised and creative changes were made. Cannell responded with a US$20 million breach-of-contract lawsuit. A compromise was reached, a new deal with Dryer earning US$50,000 per episode; the third season, again led by Huggins, added Charles Hallahan as Captain Charlie Devane, who remained Hunter and McCall's captain for the rest of the show included in the opening credits of the show and becoming one of the show's main stars. This was the show's first season in the top 30, coming in at 25th.
In the episode "Shades" when Hunter went missing, McCall teamed with a somewhat ditzy Columbo-like Detective Kitty O'Hearn. O'Hearn reappeared during the season-four three-part episode "City of Passion". Another remembered episode from season three was "Requiem For Sergeant McCall", a contradiction to a storyline from the beginning of the show; when the show first started, McCall's husband was killed five years before, in 1979, by a "punk" kid during a routine stop. At that time and Dee Dee were newly married and starting out as rookie uniform cops. However, in 1987, in "Requiem", just five years before, Steven was a homicide detective and he was working on a big murder case that resulted in him being killed. In "Requiem", Steven's killer is getting paroled, Dee Dee McCall is doing everything she can to get him back in prison—plus trying to solve the original murder case that her husband died trying to solve five years earlier. Huggins retired at the end of the fourth s
Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as Columbo, a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by Richard Levinson and William Link, popularized the inverted detective story format, which begins by showing the commission of the crime and its perpetrator. Columbo is a shrewd but inelegant blue-collar homicide detective whose trademarks include his rumpled beige raincoat, unassuming demeanor, frequent cigar smoking, his suspects are affluent members of high society who try to cover their tracks. Dismissive of Columbo's circumstantial speech and apparent ineptitude, they become unsettled as his pestering behavior leads him to tease out incriminating evidence, his relentless approach leads to self-incrimination or an outright confession by the suspect. Episodes of Columbo are between 70 and 98 minutes long, have been broadcast in 44 countries; the 1971 episode "Murder by the Book", directed by Steven Spielberg, was ranked No. 16 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time and in 1999, the magazine ranked Lt. Columbo No. 7 on its 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time list.
In 2012, the program was chosen as the third-best cop or legal show on Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time. In 2013, TV Guide included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time and ranked it at #33 on its list of the 60 Best Series. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it No. 57 in the list of 101 Best Written TV Series. After two pilot episodes, the show aired on NBC from 1971 to 1978 as one of the rotating programs of The NBC Mystery Movie. Columbo aired less on ABC beginning in 1989 under the umbrella of The ABC Mystery Movie; the last film was broadcast in 2003 as part of ABC Thursday Night at the Movies. In every episode the audience sees the crime unfold at the beginning and knows the identity of the culprit an affluent member of society. Once Columbo enters the story, viewers watch him solve the case by sifting through the contradictions between the truth and the version presented to him by the killer; this style of mystery is sometimes referred to as a "howcatchem", in contrast to the traditional whodunit.
In structural analysis terms, the majority of the narrative is therefore dénouement, a feature reserved for the end of a story. Episodes tend to be driven by their characters, the audience observing the criminal's reactions to Columbo's intrusive presence; the explanation for the crime and its method having played out as part of the narrative, most of the stories end with the criminal's reaction at being found out. In some cases, the killer's arrogance and dismissive attitude allow Columbo to manipulate his suspects into self-incrimination. While the details, the motivation, of the murderers' actions are shown to the viewer, Columbo's true thoughts and intentions are never revealed until close to the end of the episode. Columbo maintains a friendly relationship with the murderer until the end; the point at which the detective first begins to suspect the murderer is not revealed, although it is fairly early on. In some instances, such as Ruth Gordon's avenging elderly mystery writer in "Try and Catch Me", Janet Leigh's terminally ill and deluded actress in "Forgotten Lady", Donald Pleasence's elegant vintner in "Any Old Port in a Storm", Johnny Cash's enserfed singer in "Swan Song", the killer is more sympathetic than the victim.
Each case is concluded in a similar style, with Columbo dropping any pretense of uncertainty and sharing details of his conclusion of the killer's guilt. Following the killer's reaction, the episode ends with the killer confessing or submitting to arrest. There are few attempts to provide a twist in the tale. One convoluted exception is "Last Salute to the Commodore", where Robert Vaughn is seen elaborately disposing of a body, but is proved to have been covering for his alcoholic wife, whom he mistakenly thought to be the murderer; the character of Columbo was created by the writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link, who said that Columbo was inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment character Porfiry Petrovich as well as G. K. Chesterton's humble cleric-detective Father Brown. Other sources claim Columbo's character is influenced by Inspector Fichet from the French suspense-thriller film Les Diaboliques; the character first appeared in a 1960 episode of the television-anthology series The Chevy Mystery Show, titled "Enough Rope".
This was adapted by Levinson and Link from their short story "May I Come In", published as "Dear Corpus Delicti" in an issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The short story did not include Columbo as a character; the first actor to portray Columbo, character actor Bert Freed, was a stocky character actor with a thatch of grey hair. Freed's Columbo wore a rumpled suit and smoked a cigar, but he otherwise had few of the other now-familiar Columbo mannerisms. However, the character is still recognizably Columbo, uses some of the same methods of misdirecting and distracting his suspects. During the course of the show, the frightened murderer brings pressure from the district attorney's office to have Columbo taken off the case, but the detective fights back with his own contacts. Although Freed received third billing, he wound up with alm
A personal computer is a multi-purpose computer whose size and price make it feasible for individual use. Personal computers are intended to be operated directly by an end user, rather than by a computer expert or technician. Unlike large costly minicomputer and mainframes, time-sharing by many people at the same time is not used with personal computers. Institutional or corporate computer owners in the 1960s had to write their own programs to do any useful work with the machines. While personal computer users may develop their own applications these systems run commercial software, free-of-charge software or free and open-source software, provided in ready-to-run form. Software for personal computers is developed and distributed independently from the hardware or operating system manufacturers. Many personal computer users no longer need to write their own programs to make any use of a personal computer, although end-user programming is still feasible; this contrasts with mobile systems, where software is only available through a manufacturer-supported channel, end-user program development may be discouraged by lack of support by the manufacturer.
Since the early 1990s, Microsoft operating systems and Intel hardware have dominated much of the personal computer market, first with MS-DOS and with Microsoft Windows. Alternatives to Microsoft's Windows operating systems occupy a minority share of the industry; these include free and open-source Unix-like operating systems such as Linux. Advanced Micro Devices provides the main alternative to Intel's processors; the advent of personal computers and the concurrent Digital Revolution have affected the lives of people in all countries. "PC" is an initialism for "personal computer". The IBM Personal Computer incorporated the designation in its model name, it is sometimes useful to distinguish personal computers of the "IBM Personal Computer" family from personal computers made by other manufacturers. For example, "PC" is used in contrast with "Mac", an Apple Macintosh computer.. Since none of these Apple products were mainframes or time-sharing systems, they were all "personal computers" and not "PC" computers.
The "brain" may one day come down to our level and help with our income-tax and book-keeping calculations. But this is speculation and there is no sign of it so far. In the history of computing, early experimental machines could be operated by a single attendant. For example, ENIAC which became operational in 1946 could be run by a single, albeit trained, person; this mode pre-dated the batch programming, or time-sharing modes with multiple users connected through terminals to mainframe computers. Computers intended for laboratory, instrumentation, or engineering purposes were built, could be operated by one person in an interactive fashion. Examples include such systems as the Bendix G15 and LGP-30of 1956, the Programma 101 introduced in 1964, the Soviet MIR series of computers developed from 1965 to 1969. By the early 1970s, people in academic or research institutions had the opportunity for single-person use of a computer system in interactive mode for extended durations, although these systems would still have been too expensive to be owned by a single person.
In what was to be called the Mother of All Demos, SRI researcher Douglas Engelbart in 1968 gave a preview of what would become the staples of daily working life in the 21st century: e-mail, word processing, video conferencing, the mouse. The demonstration required technical support staff and a mainframe time-sharing computer that were far too costly for individual business use at the time; the development of the microprocessor, with widespread commercial availability starting in the mid 1970's, made computers cheap enough for small businesses and individuals to own. Early personal computers—generally called microcomputers—were sold in a kit form and in limited volumes, were of interest to hobbyists and technicians. Minimal programming was done with toggle switches to enter instructions, output was provided by front panel lamps. Practical use required adding peripherals such as keyboards, computer displays, disk drives, printers. Micral N was the earliest commercial, non-kit microcomputer based on a microprocessor, the Intel 8008.
It was built starting in 1972, few hundred units were sold. This had been preceded by the Datapoint 2200 in 1970, for which the Intel 8008 had been commissioned, though not accepted for use; the CPU design implemented in the Datapoint 2200 became the basis for x86 architecture used in the original IBM PC and its descendants. In 1973, the IBM Los Gatos Scientific Center developed a portable computer prototype called SCAMP based on the IBM PALM processor with a Philips compact cassette drive, small CRT, full function keyboard. SCAMP emulated an IBM 1130 minicomputer in order to run APL/1130. In 1973, APL was available only on mainframe computers, most desktop sized microcomputers such as the Wang 2200 or HP 9800 offered only BASIC; because SCAMP was the first to emulate APL/1130 performance on a portable, single user computer, PC Magazine in 1983 designated SCAMP a "revolutionary concept" and "the world's first personal computer". This seminal, single user portable computer now resides in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.
C.. Successful demonstrations of the 1973 SCAMP prototype led to the IBM 5100 portable microcomputer launched in 1975 with the ability to be programmed in both APL and BASIC for engineers, analysts and other business problem-solvers. In the late 1960s such a machine would have been nearly as large as two desks and would have weigh
LAPD Air Support Division
The Los Angeles Police Department Air Support Division is the airborne law enforcement program of the LAPD. It is the largest municipal airborne law enforcement organization in the United States and operates from the LAPD Hooper Heliport. While devoted to aerial traffic enforcement, it has grown to support a wide variety of police activity. Today, its operations are divided between Air Support To Regular Operations and Special Flight Section; the ASD motto is The mission is the same, only the vehicle has changed. The Air Support Division operates 19 aircraft of 2 different models, maintains the largest municipal police aviation unit around the world, in addition to having the world's largest roof-top airport and world's busiest heliport; the Air Support Division was established as the LAPD Helicopter Unit in 1956 with one Hiller UH-12C three-seat helicopter. They added a second helicopter in 1963 and a third in 1965; the city operated 47J model helicopters. In 1968, the unit received its first turbine powered helicopter the Bell 206A JetRanger, which decreased police response times.
With a major expansion in 1974, the Helicopter Unit was renamed the Air Support Division. At that time, the ASD grew to one Cessna 210 manned by 77 sworn personnel. In 1976, the ASD added the Special Flight Section, a unit dedicated to supporting undercover police operations. In this support role, SFS is a significant contributor to narcotics and serialized criminal investigations. In 1989, the ASD added its first Aerospatiale AS350 B1; the city retired the older piston models. Two officers with at least three years of patrol car service fly in each air unit. Air units today provide aerial surveillance for vehicle pursuits, large crowd demonstrations, drug interdiction as well for SAR missions. Air units are automatically requested when initiating a traffic stop on a "code 37" vehicle, or suspect with known wants or warrants that are a felony in order to limit the potential for a pursuit. Aircraft will not fly during poor weather due to aviation safety. To provide Air Support to patrol and specialized units of the Los Angeles Police Department.
To enhance officer and public safety, reduce the incidence of crime and thus reduce the fear of crime. To accomplish this mission we will provide rapid response, tactical insight and airborne assessments of incidents, in a safe and professional manner. Today the Air Support Division consists of 88 sworn personnel and 19 helicopters which include two Bell 206B3 JetRangers, 10 Eurocopter AS-350B2 AStars, 4 Airbus H125, one Bell 412 and one Beechcraft King Air 200 twin-engined aircraft; the city of Los Angeles flew a fleet of Bell 407s in the late 1990s as a replacement for the AS-350B1s. However, in 2000 the LAPD started replacing the 407s with more powerful AS-350B2s. Two of the 407s were sold to the General Services Department which uses the helicopters on flights for the Department of Water and Power. 10 American Eurocopter AS350 B2 A-Star 4 Airbus H125 2 Bell 206 JetRanger 1 Bell 412 1 Beechcraft King Air 200 On November 30, 1964, Sergeant Norman D. Piepenbrink was killed in a helicopter accident.
On August 30, 1966, Policemen Larry Amberg and Alex N. Ilnicki, were on traffic patrol in Air 1 flying in the vicinity of Dodger Stadium, a media helicopter was in the area reporting on freeway traffic conditions. Air 1 and the media helicopter collided, resulting in the deaths of both officers and the occupants of the media helicopter. Policeman Ilnicki had about 401 hours of total flight time and 236 hours in type at the time of the crashOn May 29, 1974, Commander Paul J. Gillen was killed when his helicopter crashed. On June 11, 1976, Officer Jeffrey B. Lindenberg was killed when the Bell 47G-5 helicopter he was training in lost power and crashed while landing. Lindenberg was practicing simulated urban high-rise rooftop landings at an off-site pad on top of a small mountain near the Los Angeles Zoo in the hills above Hollywood. On short final approach, the engine lost power and the helicopter impacted 4 inches short of the pad; the Helicopter rolled down the mountain side 162 feet. Lindenberg was killed and another officer was injured.
Lindenberg had been with the agency for seven years. Lindenberg was an experienced instrument rated pilot with 3575 hours of total flight time and 426 in type. On March 1, 1983, Reserve Officer Stuart Taira was killed as a result of a police helicopter crash. Taira, an observer for the helicopter unit, two other officers were conducting aerial patrols following a tornado. In between patrols the officers were dispatched to investigate a report of a burglar on a roof; as the helicopter took off it struck a power line. The officers survived Taira was able to exit the aircraft. Taira returned to the aircraft in an attempt to rescue his two partners. One of the helicopter's rotors struck Taira in the head. Taira was posthumously awarded the department's Medal of Valor. On June 13, 1991, Officers Gary Alan Howe and Charles Randall Champe were killed when they experienced an in-flight engine failure which caused their helicopter to crash into a parking lot, they were flying an AS350B1 helicopter. LAPD Hooper Heliport Police aviation LAPD Air Support Division
O. J. Simpson
Orenthal James Simpson, nicknamed The Juice, is an American former running back, actor, advertising spokesman, convicted robber and kidnapper. Simpson attended the University of Southern California, where he played football for the USC Trojans and won the Heisman Trophy in 1968, he played professionally as a running back in the NFL for 11 seasons with the Buffalo Bills from 1969 to 1977. He played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1978 to 1979. In 1973, he became the first NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season, he holds the record for the single season yards-per-game average, which stands at 143.1. He was the only player to rush for over 2,000 yards in the 14-game regular season NFL format. Simpson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. After retiring from football, he began new careers in football broadcasting. In 1994, Simpson was arrested and charged with the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, her friend, Ron Goldman.
He was acquitted by a jury after a internationally publicized trial. The families of the victims subsequently filed a civil suit against him, in 1997 a civil court awarded a $33.5 million judgment against him for the victims' wrongful deaths. In 2000, he moved to Florida to avoid settling in Miami. In 2007, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with the felonies of armed robbery and kidnapping. In 2008, he was convicted and sentenced to 33 years imprisonment, with a minimum of nine years without parole, he served his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center near Nevada. Simpson was granted parole on July 20, 2017, he was eligible for release from prison on October 1, 2017, was released on that date. Born and raised in San Francisco, Simpson is a son of Eunice, a hospital administrator, Jimmy Lee Simpson, a chef and bank custodian, his father was a well-known drag queen in the San Francisco Bay Area. In life, Jimmy Simpson announced that he was gay and died of AIDS in 1986. Simpson's maternal grandparents were from Louisiana, his aunt gave him the name Orenthal, which she said was the name of a French actor she liked.
Simpson has one brother, Melvin Leon "Truman" Simpson, one living sister, Shirley Simpson-Baker, one deceased sister, Carmelita Simpson-Durio. As a child, Simpson developed rickets and wore braces on his legs until the age of five, giving him his bowlegged stance, his parents separated in 1952, Simpson was raised by his mother. Simpson grew up in San Francisco and lived with his family in the housing projects of the Potrero Hill neighborhood. In his early teenage years, he joined a street gang called the Persian Warriors and was incarcerated at the San Francisco Youth Guidance Center. Future wife Marquerite, his childhood sweetheart, described Simpson as "really an awful person then". At Galileo High School in San Francisco, Simpson played for the school football team, the Galileo Lions. Although Simpson was an All-City football player at Galileo, his mediocre high-school grades prevented him from attracting the interest of many college recruiters. After a childhood friend's injury in the Vietnam War influenced Simpson to stay out of the military, he enrolled at City College of San Francisco in 1965.
He played football both ways as a running back and defensive back and was named to the Junior College All-American team as a running back. City College won the Prune Bowl against Long Beach State, many colleges sought Simpson as a transfer student for football. Simpson chose to attend the University of Southern California, which he had admired as a young football fan, over the University of Utah and played running back for head coach John McKay in 1967 and 1968. Simpson led the nation in rushing both years under McKay: in 1967 with 1,543 yards and 13 touchdowns, in 1968 with 1,880 yards on 383 carries; as a junior in 1967, Simpson was a close runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting to quarterback Gary Beban of UCLA. In that year's Victory Bell rivalry game between the teams, USC was down by six points in the fourth quarter with under eleven minutes remaining. On their own 36, USC backup quarterback Toby Page called an audible on seven. Simpson's 64-yard touchdown run tied the score, the extra point provided a 21–20 lead, the final score.
This was the biggest play in what is regarded as one of the greatest football games of the 20th century. Another dramatic touchdown in the same game is the subject of the Arnold Friberg oil painting, O. J. Simpson Breaks for Daylight. Simpson won the Walter Camp Award in 1967 and was a two-time consensus All-American. Simpson was an aspiring track athlete. Prior to playing football at Southern Cal, he ran in the USC sprint relay quartet that broke the world record in the 4 x 110-yard relay at the NCAA track championships in Provo, Utah on June 17, 1967; as a senior in 1968, Simpson rushed for 1,709 yards and 22 touchdowns in the regular season, earning the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award. He still holds the record for the Heisman's largest margin of victory, defeating runner-up Leroy Keyes by 1,750 points. In the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day, #2 USC faced top-ranked Ohio State; the first selection 1969 AFL-NFL Common Draft was held by the AFL's Buffalo Bills, after finishing 1–12–1