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F. Lee Bailey, famed O.J. Simpson 'Dream Team' attorney, dies at 87

His cross-examination of LAPD Det. Mark Fuhrman helped win acquittal in the era's most watched trial.
/ Source: NBC News

F. Lee Bailey, the flamboyant defense attorney best known for his key role in O.J. Simpson's "Dream Team," has died, a long-time colleague said Thursday.

The famed defense lawyer's passing was confirmed by his associate Peter Horstmann.

Bailey was 87.

O.J. Simpson reacts as he is found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman at the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 1995. At left is defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey and at right, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. Defense attorney Robert Shapiro is in profile behind them.MYUNG J. CHUN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bailey played an integral role in defending Hall of Fame football player O.J. Simpson, who was on trial in 1995 for the murder of his wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.

He cross-examined LAPD Det. Mark Fuhrman, asking him repeatedly if he ever used the n-word. He boxed Fuhrman into several "no" answers.

It later emerged that Fuhrman gave a series of taped interviews with an aspiring playwright, and he regularly dropped the racial slur in those chats.

Fuhrman had found a bloody glove on Simpson's property the night of the murder, but the damage done to him by Bailey played a key role in the acquittal.

"Unfortunately the older you get you start losing friends," Simpson said in a video posted on his Twitter page. "Today I found out I lost a great friend. His name was F. Lee Bailey one of the great lawyers of our time."

The Hall of Fame football star and one one-time murder suspect said Bailey had just finished a book on that 1995 trial.

Simpson recalled how Bailey visited him in a holding cell every morning of his murder trial.

"F. Lee Baily was a great guy," Simpson said. "He was the one lawyer that every morning came into this little lockup cell that they had me in before the trial, that talked to and tell me what to expect that day. He was great. He was smart, sharp as ever."

The two had kept up over the years, and not even advancing age slowed down Bailey's energy level, according to Simpson

"F. Lee Bailey, maybe the best lawyer of our time, of his generation. But a great guy. God bless his family, God bless you Lee. You'll be missed by me."

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