Robert Kardashian

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For his son, see Rob Kardashian.
Robert Kardashian
Robert Kardashian Sr.jpg
Born Robert George Kardashian
(1944-02-22)February 22, 1944
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died September 30, 2003(2003-09-30) (aged 59)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Esophageal cancer
Ethnicity Armenian
Citizenship American
Occupation Lawyer, businessman
Known for Lawyer in the O. J. Simpson trial
Spouse(s) Kris Kardashian (née Houghton, later Jenner)
Jan Ashley
Ellen Pierson
Children Kourtney Kardashian
Kim Kardashian
Khloé Kardashian
Rob Kardashian

Robert George Kardashian (February 22, 1944 – September 30, 2003) was an American attorney and businessman. He gained national recognition as O. J. Simpson's friend and defense attorney during Simpson's 1995 murder trial. He had four children with his first wife, Kris Kardashian (née Houghton, later Jenner): Kourtney, Kim, Khloé and Robert – all of whom have also become well known public figures.

Personal life[edit]

Kardashian was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Armenian-American parents Helen (née Arakelian) and Arthur Kardashian. He also has a brother and a sister.[1][2] His great-grandparents, Sam and Harom Kardaschoff, were ethnic Armenian Spiritual Christian Prygun immigrants from Karakale, Kars (present-day Turkey). Their son Tatos anglicized his name to Tom, started a business in rubbish collection in Los Angeles and married another Kars-Karakale immigrant, Hamas Shakarian.[3]

Growing up in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles, Kardashian attended Dorsey High School and the University of Southern California, from which he graduated in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in business administration.[4] He then earned a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and practiced for about a decade; after that, he went into business. In 1973 he was one of the co-founders of the trade publication Radio & Records, which he and his partners sold for a large profit in 1979.[4]

He had four children with his first wife, Kris Kardashian (née Houghton): Kourtney, Kim, Khloé and Robert Jr. All five achieved fame after his death, mainly through the E! cable network reality television show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and related programs.

After he divorced Houghton in 1991, he was engaged for a period of time to Denice Shakarian Halicki, the widow of movie producer H. B. Halicki.[5][6] He then married Jan Ashley in 1998. That marriage also ended in divorce. He married Ellen Pierson (née Markowitz) six weeks before he died.[7]

O. J. Simpson case[edit]

Kardashian and Simpson first met in the early 1970s and became close friends.[7]

Simpson stayed in Kardashian's house during the days following the June 12, 1994, murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Kardashian was the man seen carrying Simpson's garment bag the day that Simpson flew back from Chicago. Prosecutors speculated that the bag may have contained Simpson's bloody clothes or the murder weapon.[8]

When Simpson failed to turn himself in at 11 a.m. on June 17, 1994, Kardashian read a letter by Simpson to the assembled media. This letter was interpreted by many as a suicide note.[9]

Simpson was charged with the murders and subsequently acquitted of all criminal charges in a controversial criminal trial. Kardashian had let his license to practice law become inactive before the Simpson case. He reactivated his license to aid in Simpson's defense as a volunteer assistant on his legal team.[10] He sat by Simpson throughout the trial.[7]

The New York Times reported that, "Mr. Kardashian said in a 1996 ABC interview that he questioned Mr. Simpson's innocence: 'I have doubts. The blood evidence is the biggest thorn in my side; that causes me the greatest problems. So I struggle with the blood evidence.'"[10]


Eight weeks after his diagnosis, Kardashian died of esophageal cancer at age 59 on September 30, 2003.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Obituaries". The Desert Sun. May 28, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Helen Kardashian - Kim Kardashian: Official website". Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  3. ^ Harvey, Oliver (March 16, 2012). "Kim Kardashian is keeping up with the Armenians". The Sun (London). Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Beth Shuster, "Kardashian-Simpson Bond Stands Test of Time, Trouble", Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1994.
  5. ^ Dominick Dunne, "Three Faces of Evil", Vanity Fair, June 1996.
  6. ^ Mike Fleeman, "Stand By Your Man", Los Angeles, October 1996.
  7. ^ a b c Reed, Christopher (October 6, 2003). "Obituary: Robert Kardashian". The Guardian (London). Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  8. ^ "O.J. Simpson trial: Testimony about Simpson's trip to Chicago". CNN. October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  9. ^ Lowry, Brian (June 21, 2010). "From the couch: O.J.'s legacy continues". Fox Sports. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Robert Kardashian, a Lawyer For O. J. Simpson, Dies at 59". The New York Times. October 3, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Former O.J. Simpson lawyer, Kardashian, dies". CNN. October 1, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 

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