On This Day

Jim Thorpe

Versatile Athlete Jim Thorpe

Full Name: James Francis Thorpe
Profession: Versatile Athlete

Nationality:
United States of America
American

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

Historical Events

  • 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 American Professional Football Association forms; Jim Thorpe installed as president; later to become the National Football League (NFL)
  • 1963-01-29 Jim Thorpe, Red Grange & George Halas elected to football Hall of Fame
  • 1973-10-20 US President Nixon proclaims Jim Thorpe to have been the greatest athlete of the 1st half of the 20th 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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