JIM THORPE Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Jim Thorpe                                                                                     
Born: May 28, 1888 Prague, Oklahoma                                                                   
Died: March 28, 1953 Lomita, California                                                               
James Franciscus "Jim" Thorpe (May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953) was an American athlete.             
Considered one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals in the     
pentathlon and decathlon, played American football collegiately and                                   
professionally, and also played professional baseball and basketball. He                             
subsequently lost his Olympic titles when it was found he had played two seasons                     
of minor league baseball before competing in the games (thus violating the                           
amateur status rules). In 1978, Thorpe was given his own national holiday, which                     
is still celebrated on May 28.                                                                       
Thorpe was of mixed Native American and white ancestry. He was raised as a Sac                       
and Fox, and named Wa-Tho-Huk, roughly translated as "Bright Path". He struggled                     
with racism throughout much of his life and his accomplishments were publicized                       
with headlines describing him as a "Redskin" and "Indian athlete". He also                           
played on several All-American Indian teams throughout his career and                                 
barnstormed as a professional basketball player with a team composed entirely of                     
Native Americans.                                                                                     
Thorpe was named the greatest athlete of the first half of the twentieth century                     
by the Associated Press (AP) in 1950, and ranked third on the AP list of                             
athletes of the century in 1999. After his professional sports career ended,                         
Thorpe lived in abject poverty. He worked several odd jobs, struggled with                           
alcoholism, and lived out the last years of his life in failing health. In 1983,                     
thirty years after his death, his medals were restored.