On This Day

Jim Thorpe

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe

Full Name: James Francis Thorpe
Profession: Versatile Athlete

United States of America

Why Famous: Of Native American and European ancestry Thorpe is considered one of the most versatile athletes of the 20th Century. He won Gold at the 1912 Olympics (Pentathlon and Decathlon) before being stripped of his medals for receiving payment as a professional. These medals were reinstated in 1983. He went on to play professional baseball including for the NY Giants, football and basketball.

Born: May 28, 1887
Birthplace: Prague, Oklahoma, USA

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: March 28, 1953 (aged 65)
Cause of Death: Heart failure

Married Life

  • 1913-10-14 Athlete Jim Thorpe (25) weds Margaret Iva Miller at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
  • 1945-06-02 Athlete Jim Thorpe (57) weds Patricia Askew

Events in the Life of Jim Thorpe

  • 1909-06-16 Jim Thorpe makes his pro baseball pitching debut for Rocky Mount (ECL) with 4-2 win, this will cause him to forfeit his Olympic gold medals
  • 1912-07-07 American athlete Jim Thorpe wins 4 of 5 events to win the Pentathlon gold medal at the Stockholm Olympics, medal stripped 1913 (played pro baseball), reinstated 1982
  • 1912-07-15 American athlete Jim Thorpe is placed in top 4 in all 10 events, for an Olympic record 8,413 points to win the Decathlon gold medal at the Stockholm Olympics, medal stripped 1913 (played pro baseball), reinstated 1982
  • 1912-08-24 NYC ticker tape parade for Jim Thorpe & victorious US Olympians
  • 1913-01-26 Jim Thorpe relinquishes his 1912 Olympic medals for playing as a professional
  • 1913-02-01 American all-round athlete Jim Thorpe signs a contract to play baseball with the New York Giants; unlike his other sporting endeavours the Olympic-medal winner's career in MLB was uninspiring
  • 1913-02-02 NY football Giants sign Jim Thorpe
  • 1920-08-20 Preliminary meeting is conducted in Akron, Ohio to form American Professional Football Association and elect officers, installing Jim Thorpe as president
  • 1963-01-29 Jim Thorpe, Red Grange & George Halas elected to football Hall of Fame
  • 1973-10-20 President Nixon proclaims Jim Thorpe greatest athlete of 1st ½ century
  • 1982-10-13 IOC Executive Committee approves the reinstatement of Jim Thorpe's gold medals from the 1912 Olympics
  • 1983-01-18 IOC restores Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals (Pentathlon & Decathlon victories) 70 years after they were taken from him for being paid $25 in semi-pro baseball

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