|Countries||United States of America|
|A.K.A.||Robert George Kardashian|
|Birth||February 22, 1944 (Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.)|
|Death||September 30, 2003 (Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.)|
|Education||University of Southern California|
Robert George Kardashian (February 22, 1944 – September 30, 2003) was an American attorney and businessman of Armenian descent. 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, who appear on their family reality television series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and its spinoffs.
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, and whose fortune he eventually inherited. He had a sister and brother, Barbara and Tom Kardashian. His great-grandparents, Saghatel ("Sam") and Harom Kardaschoff, were ethnic Armenian Spiritual Christian Prygun immigrants from Karakale (now: Merkezkarakale), Kars (present-day Turkey). The family, known at the time by the surname Kardaschoff, in Russian style, made their way from their home village of Karakale probably to Hamburg, Germany, a popular emigration 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. 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.
Growing up in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles, Kardashian attended Susan Miller Dorsey High School and the University of Southern California, from which he graduated in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. 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. 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. 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.
Marriages and children
He had four children with his first wife, Kris Kardashian (née Houghton, now Jenner): Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloé, and Robert. The couple separated and divorced in 1991.
Shortly after separating from his first wife in 1991, Kardashian became engaged to Denice Shakarian Halicki, widow of movie producer H.B. Halicki. The couple never married. In 1998, Kardashian married Jan Ashley; however, the marriage ended in annulment 30 days later. 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. After dating for three years and proposing in 2001, Kardashian married his third wife, Ellen Pierson (née Markowitz), six weeks prior to his death.
Following Kardashian's death in 2003, all four of his children became celebrities as a result of the E! cable network reality television show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and subsequent spin-off programs.
O. J. Simpson case
Kardashian and Simpson first met in the early 1970s and became close friends.
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. 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.
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. He sat by Simpson throughout the trial.
Kardashian visited Simpson in jail regularly. According to an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kardashian said, "I've never been in a jail before. It's extremely depressing. It makes me sick every time I go down there. We can't have any physical contact. I want to hug him, I want to show him that I care. It's very difficult."
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."
Kardashian was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in July 2003. He died less than eight weeks later, age 59, on September 30, 2003 and was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.
In popular culture
He is portrayed by David Schwimmer in the 2016 FX miniseries American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson.