Full Name: James Francis Thorpe
Nickname(s): Wa-tho-huck, Bright Path, Jim
Date of Birth: May 28, 1887
Place of Birth: Prague, Oklahoma
Date of Death: March 28, 1953
Place of Death: Lomita, California
Burial Location: Private mausoleum in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Occupation: Football Player, Track and Field Athlete, Baseball Player
School: Haskell Indian School (Lawrence, Kansas) Carlisle Indian School (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)
Athletic Position: Halfback
Athletic Teams/Organizations: Cleveland Indians, Oorang Indiana, Rock Island Independents, New York Giants, Canton Bulldogs and Chicago Cardinals
Parents: Hiram P. Thorpe and Mary James
Spouse(s): Iva Miller (1913), Freeda Kirkpatrick (1926) and Patricia Gladys Askew (1945A)
Children: Gale, Charlotte, Frances, James Francis Jr., Phillip, William, Richard and John
Did You Know?
• Thorpe’s family wanted to bury him in Oklahoma and build a memorial for him there. Unfortunately, state officials refused permission. Thorpe’s widow Patricia heard about a small town in Pennsylvania called Mauch Chunk that was seeking a different name to increase town tourism. She struck a deal with the town and brought Thorpe’s remains to the tactfully renamed Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. There, a monument has been erected in his honor with the sentence, “Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world,” etched in the stone.
• The town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania holds an annual birthday celebration for Thorpe every May 21 and 22.
• According to folklore, Thorpe once hit 3 home runs into 3 different states in the same game. During a semi-pro baseball game in a ballpark on the Texas-Oklahoma-Arkansas border, he hit his first homer over the leftfield wall with the ball landing in Oklahoma, his second homer over the rightfield wall into Arkansas and his third homer of the game was an inside-the-park home run in centerfield, which was in Texas!
• Thorpe is one of two men in history who played for the New York Giants in two different sports. In football, he was the New York Giants' running back and in baseball he was the New York Giants' outfielder.
• Thorpe played football professionally well past his prime, retiring in 1928 at age 41.
• Jim Thorpe played major and minor league baseball for 20 years, starting with the New York Giants in 1913 and later playing a number of other teams, including the Boston Braves and the Cincinnati Reds.
• Thorpe was the first president of what is now the National Football League.
• Thorpe was .252 in his six seasons (1913-15, 1917-19) as an outfielder with the Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Braves.
• Thorpe's best baseball season was his last, when he batted .327 in 60 games for Boston.
• At an auction in October 2003, an early 1900s football jersey worn by Jim Thorpe fetched a winning bid of $210,000.
• Thorpe was a twin; his brother Charlie died at age nine.
• He won the gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon during the 1912 Olympic Games.