File photo of Rubin Carter posing at premiere of The Hurricane in Los Angeles. Reuters

Former US professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for being wrongly convicted for triple murder, died in Toronto on Sunday, at the age of 76, according to Canadian media reports.

Carter died of complications from prostate cancer, according to what John Artis, a longtime friend, told The Canadian Press.

Carter has been immortalised as a symbol of hope against racial injustice. He was convicted in 1966 in his native New Jersey and again with Artis in 1967. He was sent back to prison in 1976, only to be released in November 1985 for the lack of fair trial.

His life inspired Bob Dylan's 1975 song "Hurricane'' after which Carter became a global hero. Several books and other works have also come out as a record of his life and times, including the 1999 film "The Hurricane" starring Denzel Washington, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing the boxer-turned-prisoner.

If nothing, Carter's life has been eventful to say the least. As a teenager in New Jersey, he served a few custodial sentences for assault and robbery, and spent two years in the army.

"The kindest thing I have to say about my childhood is that I survived it," Carter said in his 1974 autobiography titled "The Sixteenth Round".

He turned professional in the year 1961 and soon earned his first world title fight against world champion Joey Giardello in 1964 as a middleweight boxer.

After being freed in 1985, Carter worked closely with the Toronto-based Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted as an executive director. In 2004, he grew apart from the association but continued to work for the cause.

"I always remember spending hours and hours with Rubin talking about the wrongful convictions," Win Wahrer, the director of client services for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, told CNN. "He was a great mentor and teacher. I felt very fortunate to have those times with him. He lived a very full life."

(Ed: VP)