Slugger Rubin “Hurricane” Carter — who 19 knockouts as a middleweight champion were overshadowed by a wrongful conviction on triple murder charges — has died. Carter quietly passed away on Sunday, following a lengthy battle against prostate cancer.
He was 76.
Carter died in his sleep at his home in Toronto, longtime friend and caregiver John Artis told The Associated Press.
Artis was convicted alongside Carter in 1967 and again in 1976 for a 1966 triple homicide at a tavern in Paterson, New Jersey. Racially-motivated police misconduct was blamed for the convictions. Carter was freed in November 1985 after serving 19 years behind bars.
His ordeal was publicized by celebrity activists, like Ellen Burstyn and Bob Dylan — who wrote the 1975 song “Hurricane.” A 1999 film starring Denzel Washington as the boxing great was nominated for an Oscar.
Upon learning of Rubin’s passing, Denzel paid tribute to the athlete, saying,
“God bless Rubin Carter and his tireless fight to ensure justice for all.”