More Sportsamerican footballcoachingcollege footballfantasy footballflag football101articlesbowl gamesdefensive alignmentdrillsequipment listglossaryhow tokick typesleague typesnflnfl teamsoffensive formationsofficialspass typespenaltiesplayspositionsquestionsrulesscrimmage downsskillsstatisticsstrategiesteam staffthe fieldtrophies
  1. american football
  2. articles
  3. jim thorpe

Jim Thorpe Bio And Facts

Table of Contents


Jim Thorpe

James Francis Thorpe, or Jim Thorpe, was born on May 28, 1888 in Oklahoma. Thorpe is regarded as one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of sports. Thorpe was an American Indian of Sauk and Fox descent; he attended Haskell Indian School in Lawrence Kansas and Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Thorpe was known for his amazing talents while playing football for Carlisle and was chosen to be a halfback on Walter Camp's All-American teams in 1911 and 1912. Thorpe possessed amazing speed, power, kicking, and many other fantastic abilities that separated him from his teammates and opponents. In 1912, Thorpe traveled to Stockholm, Sweden to participate in the Olympic games where he won the decathlon and the pentathlon. However there was proof found that Thorpe had played semi professional baseball in his past which unfortunately deprived him of his victory and he lost his gold medals.

  • Birthdate: May 28, 1888 (28-05-1888)
  • Died: March 28, 1953 (28-03-1953)
  • Education: Carlisle Indian School
  • Occupation: Football player
  • Height: 6'1" (1.85 m)
  • Weight: 203 lbs (92.08 kg)
  • Position: Running back
  • Years Active: 8
  • Nicknames: Wa-Tho-Huk
  • Teams: Canton Bulldogs

Football Career

Jim Thorpe was recognized as one of the greatest football players in the history of the sport, before the National Football League even existed. Thorpe started his football career in 1919 and it ran until 1926. Thorpe spent two seasons with the OOrang Indians, where Thorpe and his teammates had to perform "Indian" tricks before the games and halftime. Later in 1920-21 Thorpe served as the first president of the American Professional Football Association, which would later become the NFL.

However, Thorpe was not just recognized for his amazing football abilities, Thorpe was also very skilled and talented in many other sports. Thorpe excelled in basketball, boxing, lacrosse, swimming, and hockey, which made him to be celebrated by being one of the greatest athletes of all time. After Thorpe's death in 1955 the Jim Thorpe Trophy was awarded annually to the most valuable player in the NFL.

Titles and Awards

Because Jim Thorpe was one of the first athletes to help create and start the National Football League, there were not many awards or titles Thorpe could win during his time as an athlete. In 1912, Thorpe traveled to Sweden to participate in the 1912 Olympic games where he won the pentathlon and decathlon. These titles were later taken away from Thropre because he was caught lying about his sports history. Jim Thorpe did win the SI's All-time College All-Stars award. Later in 1954 after Thorpe's death, the Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk communities in Pennsylvania merged to create the borough of Jim Thorpe. In 1955 the Jim Thorpe Trophy was created and awarded annually to the most valuable player in the NFL. The Amateur Athletic Union restored Thope's amateur status in 1973, but the International Olympic Committee did not recognize his amateur status until 1982.

Personal Life

James Francis Thorpe, or Jim Thorpe, was born on May 28, 1888 in Prague, Indian Territory in what is now recognized as Oklahoma. Thorpe later died on March 28, 1953 in Lomita, California. Thorpe was recognized as one of the most accomplished all-around athletes in history and as the best gridiron football player from the first half of the 20th century. In 1920-21 Thorpe served as the first president of the American Professional Football Association which would later become the National Football League. Thorpe played sports until he was 41 and his career ended around the time of the Great Depression. Thorpe suffered from alcoholism and was married three times and had eight children in total. Later on in life, Thorpe suffered from heart failure and was unable to be saved and died in the year 1953. However Thorpe was recognized as an amazing athlete and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

Fun Facts

  • Jim Thorpe lost his gold medals in 1913 when it was discovered that he played semi professional baseball before participating in the 1912 Olympics in Sweden
  • Thorpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963
  • Thorpe had a batting average of .327 during his time as a baseball player
  • Thorpe was recognized and voted as the greatest American Football player of the first half of the 20th century
  • In 1951, a movie was created about Jim Thorpe's life called Jim Thorpe-All American which starred Burt Lancaster
  • Jim Thorpe largest punt was assisted by the wind and spanned an impressive 95 yards
  • Jim Thorpe's birth name was Wa-Tho-Huk which means "Bright Path" , Thorpe was a member of the Sauk and Fox tribe
  • Thorpe had a twin brother Charlie and both were able to chase down runaway horses on foot
  • Jim Thorpe based a lot of his stamina and speed off of horses and enjoyed chasing them because it pushed him to work harder

FAQ

What was Jim Thorpe's birth name?

Jim Thorpe's birth name was "Wa-Tho-Huk." Being a member of the Sauk and Fox tribe and of American Indian descent, Jim Thorpe's birth name meant "Bright Path" which was extremely fitting for the life and legacy that Jim Thorpe left behind. Thorpe is also believed to have French and Irish roots as well, while his father was the one who possessed the tribal lineage. Jim Thorpe continued to use the name Jim Thorpe because it was easier for others to say.

What was Jim Thorpe famous for?

Jim Thorpe was famous because he was deemed the greatest athlete ever and one of the most accomplished athletes of the first half of the 20th century. Thorpe was known for his incredible athletic skills and for helping start the sport of football and what is now known as the National Football League. Without Thorpe football would not be where it is today and all of the ground work that Thorpe had laid down would not be set for future generations of players to come.

Did Jim Thorpe ever get his Olympic medals back?

During the 1912 Olympics in Sweden, Jim Thorpe one the decathlon and the pentathlon. At the same time Jim Thorpe was still playing football and semi professional baseball. Since Thorpe was being paid for playing baseball he was not allowed to participate in the Olympics, so Thorpe was stripped of his gold medals. Eventually in 1982 after Thorpe's death it was decided that the medals would be returned to him by the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland.

What happened to Jim Thorpe's shoes before the Olympics?

When Jim Thorpe traveled to the 1912 Olympics he was prepared to compete in the decathlon and the pentathlon. Thorpe's final event was the decathlon and as he was ready to compete against the local favorite Hugo Wieslander, someone had stolen Thorpe's shoes. At the last minute Thorpe had found a mismatched pair of replacements from a trash can and can be seen wearing them when he won the gold medal that day.



Categories

Football Articles