Jim Thorpe Facts

Jim Thorpe Facts
Jim Thorpe was an American Olympic gold medalist and the first Native American to win a U.S. gold medal. He was born Jacobus Franciscus Thorpe on either May 22 or May 28, 1887, near Prague, Indian Territory, to Hiram Thorpe and Charlotte Vieux. His father was Irish/Native Indian, and his mother was French/Native American. Jim Thorpe was raised as a Sac and Fox Native American. Jim attended an Indian Agency school in Stroud, Oklahoma with his twin Charlie. Charlie died from pneumonia when he was nine. Jim was sent to an Indian boarding school in Kansas to stop him from running away from school. In 1904 Jim attended Carlisle Indian Industrial School where his athletic ability was recognized and developed.
Interesting Jim Thorpe Facts:
Coach Glen Scobey 'Pop' Warner was one of the most influential football coaches in early American football history. He coached Jim Thorpe at Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
Jim Thorpe was walking past the high jumpers at his school in 1907 and did an impromptu jump measuring 5 feet nine inches. He beat all the other jumpers.
In high school Jim Thorpe also competed in baseball, football, ballroom dancing, and lacrosse.
Jim Thorpe won the 1912 intercollegiate ballroom dancing championship.
In 1911 Jim Thorpe gained national attention as a running back, defensive back, punter, and placekicker and scored all four field goals beating Harvard 18-15.
Jim Thorpe scored 198 points, including 25 touchdowns, in the national collegiate championship in 1912.
Jim Thorpe entered the 1912 Olympic trials for decathlon and pentathlon, earning a place on the team.
Jim Thorpe won the gold medal for decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Sweden for the U.S.
Jim Thorpe was later stripped of his medals because he had been paid for playing sports and was therefore not an amateur according to Olympic standards. Despite the fact that the claim was made past the 30 day rule Jim still lost his medals.
Jim Thorpe became a professional baseball player and was signed to the New York Giants baseball club in 1913.
Jim Thorpe played with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1916, and then returned to the Giants briefly before being sold to the Cincinnati Reds.
Jim Thorpe was married a total of three times. His first wife was Iva M. Miller, whom he married in 1913. His second wife was Freeda Verona Kirkpatrick in 1926. He married Patricia Gladys Askew in 1945. He had four children with his first wife and four with his second wife.
Jim Thorpe had a difficult time finding work outside of sports. He worked various jobs during the Great Depression. He worked as a film extra and even sold the rights to his life story to MGM for the equivalent of $24,000 today.
In 1951 a film was made about his life titled Jim Thorpe - All-American. He was paid $15,000 plus a $2,500 annuity.
In 1982 the Olympics reinstated Jim Thorpe's medals but named him as a co-champion along with two others.
Jim Thorpe died at the age of 65 from heart failure, on March 28, 1953.


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