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Jim Thorpe Biography

Beginning On The Bright Path, Carlisle Indian, The 1912 Olympics, Chronology, Greatest Football SeasonSELECTED WRITINGS BY THORPE:


American football and baseball player

Born in a cabin in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), the Sauk (or Sac) and Fox Indian athlete Jim Thorpe began a climb to fame in 1907 as a college track-and-field and football star at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. He competed in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, where he won gold medals in both the pentathlon and the decathlon. His medals were stripped from him, however, after a journalist reported that Thorpe had briefly played baseball for pay during the summers of 1909 and 1910, nullifying his status as an amateur athlete. Thorpe went on to a career in professional football and baseball. Widely acclaimed as the greatest all-around athlete of modern times, he had a natural gift that enabled him to excel at almost any sport he played. In addition to track, football, and baseball, Thorpe was adept at swimming, lacrosse, basketball, wrestling, golf, and tennis. His awards were many, including being named the Greatest Male Athlete of the Half-Century in 1950 and America's Athlete of the Century in 1999. His Olympic medals and titles were restored posthumously, in 1982.


(With Thomas F. Collison) Jim Thorpe's History of the Olympics, Wetzel Publishing, 1932.

Sketch by Ann H. Shurgin

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Famous Sports StarsFootball