Robert Kardashian

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This article is about the attorney. For his son, the television personality, 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
Education Dorsey High School
Alma mater University of Southern California
University of San Diego School of Law
Occupation Lawyer, businessman
Known for Lawyer in the O. J. Simpson trial
Spouse(s) Kris Houghton (1978–1991)
Jan Ashley (1998–1999)
Ellen Pierson (2003)
Children Kourtney Kardashian
Kim Kardashian
Khloe 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 Rob, all of whom have become well known because of reality TV.

Personal life[edit]

Kardashian was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Armenian-American parents Helen (née Arakelian) and Arthur Kardashian, who ran the largest meat-packing business in southern California.[1] He had a sister and brother, Barbara and Tom Kardashian.[2][3] His great-grandparents, Sam and Harom Kardaschoff, were ethnic Armenian Spiritual Christian Prygun immigrants from Karakale, Kars (present-day Turkey). Robert's ancestors fled the impending massacre, which would eventually take place as the Armenian Genocide in 1915, thanks to a child 'prophet' Efim G. Klubnikin who urged them to uproot to America. The family, known at the time as the Kardaschoffs, in Russian style, made their way from their home village of Karakale to German ports. From there, they travelled to a new life in America on the passenger vessels SS Brandenburg and SS Köln, settling in the United States.[1] Their son Tatos anglicized his name to Tom, started a business in garbage collection in Los Angeles, and married another Kars-Karakale immigrant, Hamas Shakarian.[4]

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.[5] He 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, Kardashian was one of the co-founders of the trade publication Radio & Records, which he and his partners sold for a large profit in 1979.[5]

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

After he divorced Kris Kardashian in 1991, Robert was engaged for a period of time to Denice Shakarian Halicki, the widow of movie producer H. B. Halicki.[6][7] In 1998 he married Jan Ashley. That marriage ended in annulment.[8][9] He married Ellen Pierson (née Markowitz) six weeks before he died.[10]

O. J. Simpson case[edit]

Kardashian and Simpson first met in the early 1970s and became close friends.[10]

Following the June 12, 1994, murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, Simpson stayed in Kardashian's house. 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.[11] 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.[12]

Simpson was charged with the murders; he was 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, alongside his main defense attorney, Johnnie Cochran.[13] He sat by Simpson throughout the trial.[10]

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.‍ '​"[13]


Eight weeks after his diagnosis, Kardashian died of esophageal cancer at age 59 on September 30, 2003.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stewart, Will (6 February 2015). "How Kim's ancestors heeded prophet's warning of looming slaughter to escape rural Armenia for a new life in the U.S.". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Obituaries". The Desert Sun. May 28, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Helen Kardashian - Kim Kardashian: Official website". Retrieved 2015-05-14. 
  4. ^ Harvey, Oliver (March 16, 2012). "Kim Kardashian is keeping up with the Armenians". The Sun (London). Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Beth Shuster, "Kardashian-Simpson Bond Stands Test of Time, Trouble", Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1994.
  6. ^ Dominick Dunne, "Three Faces of Evil", Vanity Fair, June 1996.
  7. ^ Mike Fleeman, "Stand By Your Man", Los Angeles, October 1996.
  8. ^ Mohan, Keerthi (October 9, 2014). "Bruce Jenner Might have Called it Quits with Kris Jenner Because of her Children: Report". International Business Times. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Declaration of Robert Kardashian" (PDF). Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c Reed, Christopher (October 6, 2003). "Obituary: Robert Kardashian". The Guardian (London). Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ "O.J. Simpson trial: Testimony about Simpson's trip to Chicago". CNN. October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  12. ^ Lowry, Brian (June 21, 2010). "From the couch: O.J.'s legacy continues". Fox Sports. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Robert Kardashian, a Lawyer For O. J. Simpson, Dies at 59". The New York Times. October 3, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Former O.J. Simpson lawyer, Kardashian, dies". CNN. October 1, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2010. 

External links[edit]