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Dates That Matter

July 15, 1912

Jim Thorpe helps the US team lead the medal count at the Stockholm Olympics.

 Why does it matter?

Jim Thorpe has been described as the greatest athlete of the 20th century. During the Olympics in Stockholm, King Gustav V of Sweden told Thorpe he was the "greatest athlete in the world." Thorpe had just won gold medals in the decathlon and the pentathlon.

Jim Thorpe was born in Oklahoma (Indian Territory), but educated at Indian Schools in Kansas and Pennsylvania. It was while he was a student at the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, PA, that he played football for the legendary "Pop" Warner and became known for his athletic ability. He went on to play professional football and professional baseball. He was the first president of the National Football League. He has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, the Professional Football Hall of Fame and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, and been named "Athlete of the Century" by several major groups.

Sadly, Jim Thorpe's life was never as happy as might have been expected. His Olympic gold medals were taken from him because he had played professional baseball and was not considered an amateur (they were restored in 1982, 30 years after his death). Later in life, he struggled to make ends meet and drank too much. After he died of a heart attack at age 64, his body was moved to the town of Mauch Chunk, PA, a place he had never visited, but which agreed to change its name to Jim Thorpe, PA in return for having his grave located there in the hopes that they could attract more tourist traffic.">

For more information...

The Official Site of Jim Thorpe
Biographical and athletic information about Jim Thorpe. There is an extensive photo gallery.

Carlisle Indian Industrial School Research Pages
More about the Carlisle Indian School with links to information about Jim Thorpe.

Amazing Moments in Olympic History
Information about Jim Thorpe from the US Olympic Committee.