The Kardashian Klan is undoubtedly one of the most well-known families in the world. Still, tragically, their adored father Robert Kardashian did not live to witness the extraordinary success they currently experience.
Just two months after receiving an esophageal cancer diagnosis, Robert, a hotshot Los Angeles attorney, passed away in September 2003, making it 17 years since his passing. To his shocked family, the patriarch’s abrupt downturn in health came as a bolt from the blue.
When Robert passed away at the age of 59, leaving his children without a father, he didn’t drink or smoke, and there was no family history of cancer.
“It was so surreal, the knowledge he had cancer was one thing, but to think it would actually take his life, I never in a million years thought that would happen to him,” Kris Jenner later said of his sudden passing.
The daughter Khloe later claimed that stress was the only explanation for her father’s sudden passing.
“I think holding in secrets [and] stress kills you! I feel like you manifest things, you have to think…” she mused.
Robert died eight years after becoming well-known for participating in the OJ Simpson “trial of the century.”
When Simpson, an American football player, was charged with the double murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, he participated in Simpson’s defense team.
Before he became involved in the case, Robert hadn’t appeared in court in 20 years and hadn’t practised law for 12 years. However, he reactivated his license to assist his friend OJ, claiming he was confident of his innocence. The decision severely strained his friendship with Kris Jenner, his ex-wife and Nicole’s close friend.
When OJ was ultimately found not guilty, Kris was expecting her first child with Bruce Caitlyn Jenner, whom she later renamed Kendall Nicole Jenner in memory of her late friend. Kris and Robert had to put the matter behind them to continue co-parenting their four children.
When Robert’s sickness was determined to be deadly eight years later, he asked Kris’s new husband, Bruce Jenner to look for those kids. Bruce vowed to “always take care” of Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Rob when their father passed away.
On their E! reality series Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the mixed Kardshian-Jenner family chronicled their turbulent yet loving relationship for a period. But after her 2013 divorce from Kris Jenner, Bruce changed her name to Caitlyn, and Khloe accused her step-dad of breaking her vow.
On I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, the speaker said Khloe and Caitlyn hadn’t spoken for five years because Khloe had been “p****d off” by her metamorphosis, Caitlyn confessed.
Khloe later acknowledged that she believed Bruce was “going out of their lives,” which contradicts what Caitlyn had reportedly promised Khloe’s late father.
Writing in her book Strong Looks Better Naked, Khloe explained: “In some ways I felt the worst part was that other people had known about the transition before we did. I felt devalued by that fact.”“It was about my own loss; it was about the pain I felt because he was walking out of our lives,” she said.
Robert’s legacy has continued via his children, with his son Robert attending the same university as his father, the University of California, and proudly showing off a large tattoo of his father’s face on his arm.
And Kim, who has been motivated by her recent work on prison reform, has also followed in her father’s footsteps by pursuing law education.
Kris, his ex-wife, has even considered returning to using the Kardashian last name.
“I live in a Kardashian world,” she explained to ABC news. “It’s like Kardashian inc. in my office – I eat Kardashian, I breathe Kardashian, I sleep Kardashian. I deal in Kardashians- so everyone calls me Kris Kardashian, and it continues.”In February of this year, when her father was 76, Kim posted a tribute to Robert on Instagram, wishing him a “Happy Birthday dad! Miss you beyond understanding. Wish you were here to see it all!”