The end of an era: O.J. Simpson, Hertz's speedy messenger, dies at 76

OJ Simpson, a prominent spokesperson for Hertz Rent-A-Car in the 1970s and 1980s, died yesterday of cancer. He was 76.

Simspon appeared in several Hertz commercials during this time period. The commercials typically featured Simpson running through an airport or other location, highlighting Hertz's fast and efficient rental car service. Simpson's athletic ability and charismatic persona made him an effective brand ambassador for Hertz. "After Simpson's ads there was a 20 percent increase in the number of people who said Hertz was the first rental car company that came to their mind," reported Rolling Stone.

Mark Morris, the executive at the Ted Bates & Co. ad agency, which managed the campaign for Hertz, said, "It was an extremely successful piece of advertising. I was in the business 38 years and it was clearly the highlight campaign of my career."

In 1985, Simpson had a brush with fame when he appeared in a commercial alongside golfer Arnold Palmer.

Previously: Zardoz star Sean Connery dead at 90