Robert Kardashian

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Robert Kardashian
Robert Kardashian smiles at the camera, dressed in a suit
Robert George Kardashian

(1944-02-22)February 22, 1944
DiedSeptember 30, 2003(2003-09-30) (aged 59)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeInglewood Park Cemetery, California
Alma mater
  • Attorney
  • businessman
Known forO. J. Simpson murder case
  • (m. 1978; div. 1991)
  • Jan Ashley
    (m. 1998; ann. 1999)
  • Ellen Pierson
    (m. 2003)

Robert George Kardashian (February 22, 1944 – September 30, 2003) was an American attorney and businessman. He gained 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: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob, who appear on their family reality television series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and its spinoffs.

Early life and education

Kardashian was born in Los Angeles, California, on February 22, 1944, one of three children born to Arthur Kardashian (1917–2012) and Helen Jean Arakelian Kardashian (1917–2008), both Armenian Americans.[1] He had a sister, Barbara Kardashian Freeman, and a brother, Thomas "Tom" Kardashian.[2][3] The Kardashians were Armenian Spiritual Christians originally from Kars Oblast, and known by the surname Kardaschoff, a Russianized form of the Armenian surname Kardashian, as the area, though now part of modern-day Turkey, was then part of the Russian Empire.[4] Once in the United States, Arthur's father, Tatos, changed his name to Thomas, and began a career in garbage collection, founding his own business, and married Hamas Shakarian, also an immigrant of Armenian heritage.[citation needed]

He grew up in the affluent View Park area of Los Angeles County, where the family lived at 4908 Valley Ridge Avenue.[5] Kardashian attended Susan Miller Dorsey High School and the University of Southern California, from which he graduated in 1966 with a B.S. degree in business administration.[6] He earned a J.D. 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.[6] Kardashian also pioneered the idea of playing music between movies in theaters. He subsequently parlayed the concept into a business, starting a company called Movie Tunes.[7][8][9][10] He served as president and CEO of the firm and later invested in Juice Inc., a frozen yogurt company, and in a music video business called Concert Cinema.[11][12]

O. J. Simpson case

Kardashian and Simpson first met around 1967 while both of them were at USC and became close friends.[13] Simpson was the best man at Kardashian and Kris Houghton's wedding in 1978.

Following the June 12, 1994, murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, Simpson stayed in Kardashian's house to avoid the media. 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.[14] 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.[15]

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 but reactivated it to aid in Simpson's defense as a volunteer assistant on his legal team, alongside Simpson's main defense attorneys, Robert Shapiro and Johnnie Cochran. As one of Simpson's lawyers and a member of the defense "Dream Team", Kardashian could not be compelled or subpoenaed to testify against Simpson in the case, which included Simpson's past history and behavior with his ex-wife Nicole, and as to the contents of Simpson's garment bag.[16] He sat by Simpson throughout the trial.[17]

The New York Times reported that Kardashian said in a 1996 ABC interview with Barbara Walters that he had begun to question 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."[16] After Simpson's acquittal, Kardashian and Simpson ultimately stopped speaking to each other.

Illness and death

Kardashian was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in July 2003. He died two months later, on September 30, 2003, at his home in Encino, Los Angeles, at age 59,[18][19] and was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.[20]

In popular culture

Kardashian was portrayed by David Schwimmer in the 2016 FX miniseries American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson. Schwimmer was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his performance, but lost to Sterling K. Brown, who portrayed Christopher Darden in the same series. In 2016, ESPN Films and their 30 for 30 series produced a five-part miniseries called O.J.: Made in America, produced by Ezra Edelman, in which Kardashian was featured heavily through archive footage.

In 2017, Kardashian was the subject of the pilot episode of the TV comedy series Over My Dead Body on Amazon Prime.[21]

Personal life

Kardashian dated Priscilla Presley from 1975 to 1976.[22][23] The pair met through Kardashian's sister-in-law Joan, who had previously been married to Joe Esposito, road manager for Elvis.[24][25] On an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, his daughter Kim stated that the two were briefly engaged.

Kardashian had four children with his first wife, Kris Kardashian (née Houghton, later Jenner): Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob.[26]

Shortly after separating from his first wife in 1991, Kardashian became engaged to Denice Shakarian Halicki, his third cousin and the widow of movie producer H.B. Halicki.[27][28][29] The couple never married. In 1998, Kardashian married Jan Ashley; however, the marriage ended in annulment in 1999.[30] Ashley later claimed frequent upset and turmoil related to Kardashian's ex-wife, Kris, and their children "were instrumental" in the demise of the relationship.[31][32][33] After dating for three years and proposing in 2001, Kardashian married his third wife, Ellen Pierson (née Markowitz), six weeks prior to his death.[34][17]

See also


  1. ^ "Robert George Kardashian". FamilySearch. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  2. ^ "Obituaries". The Desert Sun. May 28, 2008. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "Helen Kardashian - Kim Kardashian: Official website". Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Conovaloff, Andrei. "Taxonomy of 3 Spiritual Christian groups: Molokane, Pryguny and Dukh-i-zhizniki — books, fellowship, holidays, prophets and songs". Spiritual Christian Around the World. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "Los Angeles Street Address Directory "Arthur Kardashian" and "Barbara Kardashian"". Los Angeles Public Library. May 1956. p. 753. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Beth Shuster, "Kardashian-Simpson Bond Stands Test of Time, Trouble", Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1994.
  7. ^ "Who Was Robert Kardashian, Sr.?". Wetpaint. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Vincent, Alice (February 3, 2016). "The People v OJ Simpson: Who was Robert Kardashian? (Aside from Kim's dad)". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "Robert Kardashian, a Lawyer For O. J. Simpson, Dies at 59". The New York Times. October 3, 2003. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  10. ^ "50 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Kim Kardashian". Boomsbeat. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  11. ^ "The Kardashians' bizarre involvements with O.J.'s trial". Looper. February 8, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  12. ^ Eric Malnic (October 2, 2003). "Robert Kardashian – friend and lawyer of O.J. Simpson". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  13. ^ Chang, Rachel (June 16, 2020). "A History of O.J. Simpson's Relationship with the Kardashian Family". Biography. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  14. ^ "O.J. Simpson trial: Testimony about Simpson's trip to Chicago". CNN. October 11, 2007. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  15. ^ Lowry, Brian (June 21, 2010). "From the couch: O.J.'s legacy continues". Fox Sports. Archived from the original on July 15, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  16. ^ a b "Robert Kardashian, a Lawyer For O. J. Simpson, Dies at 59". The New York Times. October 3, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  17. ^ a b Reed, Christopher (October 6, 2003). "Obituary: Robert Kardashian". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  18. ^ "O.J. Simpson lawyer, Kardashian, dies". CNN. October 1, 2003. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  19. ^ Malnic, Eric (October 2, 2003). "Robert Kardashian, 59; Served on O.J. Simpson's Defense Team". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 11, 2020. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  20. ^ Gnerre, Sam (July 26, 2014). "The Inglewood Park Cemetery predates the city's incorporation". Daily Breeze. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  21. ^ "Over My Dead Body". Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  22. ^ "The Kardashians have two connections to Elvis Presley". Fox News. April 3, 2016.
  23. ^ "Robert Kardashian Was in Love With Priscilla Presley Before Elvis Split Them Up, Book Claims". Inside Edition. September 19, 2017.
  24. ^ Finstad, Suzanne (January 25, 1997). Child Bride: The Untold Story of Priscilla Beaulieu Presley. Crown Publishing Group. p. 321. ISBN 9780517705858.
  25. ^ Thompson, Eliza (January 16, 2023). "Priscilla Presley's Dating History: From Elvis Presley to Robert Kardashian and Nigel Lythgoe". Retrieved June 9, 2023.
  26. ^ "Photo of Robert Kardashian with his children". What's Good? Online.
  27. ^ Dominick Dunne, "Three Faces of Evil" Archived January 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Vanity Fair, June 1996.
  28. ^ Mike Fleeman, "Stand By Your Man", Los Angeles, October 1996.
  29. ^ "Robert Kardashian Engaged To Third Cousin Denice Halicki". RadarOnline. July 26, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  30. ^ "Court Documents Prove Khloe Is A Kardashian, Kris Jenner Calls Allegations 'Crap' (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. January 12, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
  31. ^ "Stand By Your Man". Los Angeles Magazine. October 1996. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ "Declaration of Robert Kardashian" (PDF). TMZ. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 29, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  34. ^ Amber Garrett (June 10, 2013). "Who is Robert Kardashian's Widow, Ellen Pierson Kardashian?". Wetpaint. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  35. ^ Smith, Josh (May 4, 2020). "The Kardashian Family Tree: Who's who in America's most famous family". Glamour Magazine. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  36. ^ Murray, Daisy (November 6, 2019). "A Full Breakdown Of All The Kardashian And Jenner Grandchildren, Because We Almost Lost Count". Elle. Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  37. ^ Oppenheimer, Jerry (2017). The Kardashians: An American Drama. St. Martin's Press. p. 82. ISBN 9781250087140. Archived from the original on March 2, 2021. Retrieved September 30, 2020.

External links