James Francis Thorpe (May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953) was an American athlete in track, football, and baseball. Thorpe was part Native American and was from Oklahoma. He played football, track, and six other sports at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. While at Carlisle, Thorpe's team was one of the best in the country, and beat an Army team that had Dwight Eisenhower. Thorpe won gold medals in the pentathlon (five track and field events in one day) and decathlon (ten events in two days) at the 1912 Summer Olympics. After the decathlon, the King of Sweden called him the greatest athlete alive. His medals were taken away because he had played professional baseball, but were returned in 1982, long after his death.
After the Olympics, Thorpe played professional baseball and football. He played for football teams including the Canton Bulldogs, Rock Island Independents, Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants. He was commissioner of the NFL for one year. Thorpe is in the NFL Hall of Fame. He also played for baseball teams including the New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Braves  For several years, Thorpe toured with football, baseball and basketball teams that only had Native American players. Late in life, Thorpe had problems with alcoholism. Thorpe died in 1953 and is buried in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.
References[change | change source]
- McCallum, Jack (October 25, 1982). "Jim Thorpe's Olympic gold medals at last have been - 10.25.82 - SI Vault". cnn.com. Retrieved March 22, 2011.