Jim Thorpe - Native Americans, Birthday and Childhood

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Jim Thorpe's Personal Details

Jim Thorpe was one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century

InformationDetail
BirthdayMay 28, 1888
Died onMarch 28, 1953
NationalityAmerican
FamousNative Americans, Sportspersons, Athletes, American Football Players
SpousesFreeda V. Kirkpatrick, Iva Margaret Miller, Patricia Askew
SiblingsCharlie
Known asJames Francis Thorpe
Childrens Carl, Charlotte, Gale, Grace, Jim Jr., John, Richard, William
Universities
  • Carlisle Indian School
  • Pennsylvania (1903-12)
  • Haskell Indian Nations University
Birth PlacePottawatomie County, Oklahoma
ReligionRoman Catholic
GenderMale
FatherHiram P. Thorpe
MotherCharlotte Vieux
Sun SignGemini
Born inPottawatomie County, Oklahoma
Famous asAthlete
Died at Age64

// Famous American Football Players

Jim Thorpe's photo

Who is Jim Thorpe?

Often regarded as the greatest athlete of the 20th century, James Francis “Jim” Thorpe was a versatile athlete who excelled in a wide number of sports. He was an Olympic gold medalist in pentathlon and decathlon. In addition, he had played football during his college days and also played baseball and basketball at the professional level. He started playing football while at school and eventually branched out into other sports as well. One of his earliest coaches was the football legend, Glenn “Pop” Warner who helped to mould the youngster into a formidable competitor. After his Olympic win, the King of Sweden congratulated him, calling him the greatest of all athletes in the world. However, his Olympic titles were taken away after it was revealed that he had played professional baseball before competing in the Olympics. This violated the amateurism rules of the Olympic. However, his Olympic achievements were restored to his credit 30 years after his death. The strong and healthy athlete participated in competitive sports until the age of 41. But life was not always kind to him. He struggled to make ends meet during his final years and became a victim to alcoholism which ruined his health and well being.

// Famous Sportspersons

Childhood & Early Life

The details of his childhood are often disputed—the exact facts about his date of birth or birth place have not been verified. His parents were of mixed ancestry. His father was Hiram Thorpe, a farmer, while his mother was Charlotte Vieux. He was raised according to native Indian customs.

He went to the Sac and Fox Indian Agency School before being sent off to the Haskell Institute, an Indian boarding school in Kansas.

He became depressed after his mother died while he was still young and left home after arguing with his father; however, he returned to his father when he was 16 and resumed his education at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

During his school days he stood out from his peers due to his phenomenal athletic abilities. The legendary football coach Glenn “Pop” Warner noticed his abilities and coached him.

Another tragedy struck Jim when his father died leaving him orphaned.

Career

The concrete records of his achievements date from 1907. As a student in high school and college, he participated in competitive football, baseball, and lacrosse.

He received considerable attention in 1911 when as a football player, he scored all his team’s field goals and a touchdown in an 18-15 win over the Harvard, a top ranked team in those days. His team finished the season 11-1.

Football was his favourite sport. In 1912, he scored 25 touchdowns and 198 points. The same year he started training for the Olympics in several sports: jumps, hurdles, pole vaulting, javelin, and hammer. He was noticed during the trials due to his all-round ability.

There were two new multi-events in the 1912 Summer Olympics, Sweden: the pentathlon and the decathlon. The versatile Thorpe participated in both these events, and also in long jump and high jump. He won the Gold Medals in the Pentathlon and Decathlon.

After winning the Olympics, he competed in the Amateur Athletic Union’s All-Around Championship. He competed against Bruno Brodd and J. Bredemus and won seven of the ten events contested.

In 1913, it came to light that he had played professional baseball prior to his Olympic participation. This violated the amateurism rule as athletes who had previously received any sort of payment for playing sports were disqualified from Olympics.

Thorpe did not know about this rule before participating and wrote his appeal in a letter to the Olympic Authorities. However, the Amateur Athletic Union took the case seriously and snatched away his Olympic titles.

He continued playing baseball as a free agent and joined the New York Giants with whom he played 19 games and helped to win the 1913 National League championships.

Along with his team, he joined the Chicago White Sox for a world tour where he became an international celebrity. Several people thronged the streets just to get a glimpse of the talented athlete and he had the opportunity to meet several famous people like the Pope and King George V.

In 1917, he was sold to the Cincinnati Reds though later on he was sold back to the New York Giants. He played sporadically for them before being sold off again to the Boston Braveson in 1919. He played minor league baseball till 1922.

He continued playing football too after the Olympics. He signed with Canton Bulldogs in 1915 for a salary of $250 per game, a huge amount at that time. More than 8,000 people turned up to watch his debut match against the Massillon Tigers. He helped his team win titles in 1916, 1917, and 1919.

Thorpe was made the first president of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) which was formed in 1920. From 1920 till 1928 he played 52 National Football League games for six teams before announcing his retirement.

Awards & Achievements

He won two Gold Medals at the 1912 Summer Olympics held at Stockholm, one each in the events Pentathlon and Decathlon.

Personal Life & Legacy

His first marriage was to Iva Miller from 1913 to 1925. The couple had four children.

He married again in 1926. His second wife was Freeda Kirkpatrick who worked as a manager of the baseball team he played for. They had four sons and divorced in 1941.

He tied the knot yet again with Patricia Askew in 1945. His third wife remained with him till his death.

The Great Depression had begun by the time his athletic career ended. He struggle to make ends meet after that and took to drinking. He also suffered from cancer during his later years and was poverty stricken. He died of a heart attack in 1953.

President Richard Nixon proclaimed 16th April, 1973 as “Jim Thorpe Day” to promote the recognition of this great athlete.

Trivia

This Olympic Gold Medalist, often called the greatest athlete of the 20th century, had also acted in films as an extra.

// Famous Native Americans

Jim Thorpe awards

YearNameAward

Other

1911 - All American Honors
1912 - All American Honors
1912 - Gold Medal in Pentathlon at Olympics
1912 - Gold Medal in Decathlon at Olympics

Jim Thorpe biography timelines

  • // 1907
    The concrete records of his achievements date from 1907. As a student in high school and college, he participated in competitive football, baseball, and lacrosse.
  • // 1911
    He received considerable attention in 1911 when as a football player, he scored all his team’s field goals and a touchdown in an 18-15 win over the Harvard, a top ranked team in those days. His team finished the season 11-1.
  • // 1912
    Football was his favourite sport. In 1912, he scored 25 touchdowns and 198 points. The same year he started training for the Olympics in several sports: jumps, hurdles, pole vaulting, javelin, and hammer. He was noticed during the trials due to his all-round ability.
  • // 1912
    There were two new multi-events in the 1912 Summer Olympics, Sweden: the pentathlon and the decathlon. The versatile Thorpe participated in both these events, and also in long jump and high jump. He won the Gold Medals in the Pentathlon and Decathlon.
  • // 1913
    In 1913, it came to light that he had played professional baseball prior to his Olympic participation. This violated the amateurism rule as athletes who had previously received any sort of payment for playing sports were disqualified from Olympics.
  • // 1913
    He continued playing baseball as a free agent and joined the New York Giants with whom he played 19 games and helped to win the 1913 National League championships.
  • // 1913 To 1925
    His first marriage was to Iva Miller from 1913 to 1925. The couple had four children.
  • // 1915
    He continued playing football too after the Olympics. He signed with Canton Bulldogs in 1915 for a salary of $250 per game, a huge amount at that time. More than 8,000 people turned up to watch his debut match against the Massillon Tigers. He helped his team win titles in 1916, 1917, and 1919.
  • // 1917
    In 1917, he was sold to the Cincinnati Reds though later on he was sold back to the New York Giants. He played sporadically for them before being sold off again to the Boston Braveson in 1919. He played minor league baseball till 1922.
  • // 1920
    Thorpe was made the first president of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) which was formed in 1920. From 1920 till 1928 he played 52 National Football League games for six teams before announcing his retirement.
  • // 1926 To 1941
    He married again in 1926. His second wife was Freeda Kirkpatrick who worked as a manager of the baseball team he played for. They had four sons and divorced in 1941.
  • // 1945
    He tied the knot yet again with Patricia Askew in 1945. His third wife remained with him till his death.
  • // 28th Mar 1953
    The Great Depression had begun by the time his athletic career ended. He struggle to make ends meet after that and took to drinking. He also suffered from cancer during his later years and was poverty stricken. He died of a heart attack in 1953.

// Famous Athletes

Jim Thorpe's FAQ

  • What is Jim Thorpe birthday?

    Jim Thorpe was born at 1888-05-28

  • When was Jim Thorpe died?

    Jim Thorpe was died at 1953-03-28

  • Where was Jim Thorpe died?

    Jim Thorpe was died in Lomita

  • Which age was Jim Thorpe died?

    Jim Thorpe was died at age 64

  • Where is Jim Thorpe's birth place?

    Jim Thorpe was born in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma

  • What is Jim Thorpe nationalities?

    Jim Thorpe's nationalities is American

  • Who is Jim Thorpe spouses?

    Jim Thorpe's spouses is Freeda V. Kirkpatrick, Iva Margaret Miller, Patricia Askew

  • Who is Jim Thorpe siblings?

    Jim Thorpe's siblings is Charlie

  • Who is Jim Thorpe childrens?

    Jim Thorpe's childrens is Carl, Charlotte, Gale, Grace, Jim Jr., John, Richard, William

  • What was Jim Thorpe universities?

    Jim Thorpe studied at Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania (1903-12), Haskell Indian Nations University

  • What is Jim Thorpe's religion?

    Jim Thorpe's religion is Roman Catholic

  • Who is Jim Thorpe's father?

    Jim Thorpe's father is Hiram P. Thorpe

  • Who is Jim Thorpe's mother?

    Jim Thorpe's mother is Charlotte Vieux

  • What is Jim Thorpe's sun sign?

    Jim Thorpe is Gemini

  • How famous is Jim Thorpe?

    Jim Thorpe is famouse as Athlete