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Boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter Dies at 76

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the prizefighter who was wrongly convicted of murder in 1967 and who was later immortalized in a Bob Dylan song, died Sunday after a long battle with prostate cancer, The Associated Press reports. He was 76.

Born in Clifton, N.J., Carter was placed in a juvenile reformatory after being accused of assault at age 14. He escaped the reformatory and joined the Army in 1954, and was sent to West Germany, where he began boxing.

He left the Army in 1956 and returned to New Jersey, where he was arrested for escaping from the reformatory. He had several run-ins with the law over the next few years and served more than four years in prison.

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Carter became a professional boxer after he was released from prison in 1961. His career record is 27 wins, 12 losses and one draw in 40 fights.

In 1967, despite a lack of physical evidence and improper handling of the investigation by police, Carter was wrongly convicted of a triple homicide that had taken place in Paterson, N.J., the previous year. He received multiple life sentences and was convicted of the murders again in 1976 during a new trial.

During the second trial, Bob Dylan penned the song “Hurricane,” insisting that Carter was innocent. Carter’s attorneys continued to appeal the verdict and he was freed without bail in November 1985.

After his release, Carter moved to Toronto and became an advocate for people who had been wrongly convicted of crimes. He was the executive director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted from 1993 to 2005.

The 1999 movie The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington as Carter, was based on his life. Washington won a Golden Globe and earned an Oscar nomination for his performance.

Carter announced in 2012 that he had terminal prostate cancer.


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