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Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the boxer whose story was immortalized by a Bob Dylan song and Oscar nominated Denzel Washington film, has died at age 76. Carter was wrongly convicted of murder and spent 19 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.
The former boxer died following a battle with prostate cancer, his friend, John Artis, confirmed, reports The New York Times. He spent his final days in Toronto, where he had founded a group called Innocence International, which promoted efforts to get wrongly convicted prisoners freed.
Carter was one of the top boxers in the world in the early 1960s, but lost his only fight for a title in 1964. He then lost several more matches as his career was in decline before his legal problems began. Then, he was thrust into the spotlight when he was accused of a triple murder in 1966, reports CNN.
First, he was convicted to three life sentences in 1967, but those charges were overturned. But he was convicted again in 1976, the year Bob Dylan penned the hit single “Hurricane.” Eventually, that conviction was overturned and he was released from prison in 1985.
Carter was also the subject of 1999’s The Hurricane. Although the film earned Washington an Oscar nomination, it was criticized for being historically inaccurate.
In 2011, Carter published Eye of the Hurricane: My Path from Darkness to Freedom, which allowed him to detail his struggles and his side of his story.