Jim Thorpe, World's Greatest Athlete

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University of Oklahoma Press, 1979 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
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Born in 1888 in Oklahoma Territory, Jim Thorpe was a Sac and Fox Indian. After attending the Sac and Fox agency school and Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas, he transferred to Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. At Carlisle he led the football team to victories over some of the nation's best college teams-Army, Navy, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska. In 1912 he participated in the Olympic Games in Stockholm, winning both the decathlon and pentathlon. It was then that King Gustav V of Sweden dubbed him "the world's greatest athlete." Between 1913 and 1919, Thorpe played professional baseball for the New York Giants, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Boston Braves. In 1915 he began playing professional football with the Canton (Ohio) Bulldogs. When the top teams were organized into the American Professional Football Association in 1920, Thorpe was named the first president of the league, which was renamed the National Football League in 1922. Throughout his career he excelled in every sport he played, earning King Gustav's accolade many times over. Robert W. Wheeler is founder and President of the Jim Thorpe Foundation. Sport Illustrated credited him with primary responsibility for the restoration of Thorpe's Olympic awards in 1982. He has also been Director of Public Relations for the White House Conference for Children and Youth, Executive Director of the Heart of Ohio Girl Scout Council, and Executive Director of the Brighton (New York) Youth Service and Recreation Agency. He holds degrees in history and education from New York University and Syracuse University. "The book that Robert W. Wheeler has put together can only be described as phenomenal. What makes his book significant is the fact the work is no doubt the most definitive, most complete and certainly the most accurate biography ever published of Jim Thorpe" ---Canton(Ohio) Repository "Robert W. Wheeler is Jim Thorpe's Boswell," ---Dick Schapp, ESPN "A major biography of America's greatest athlete." ---The Dallas Morning News "Wheeler's book is a sympathetic biography, but the author does not hesitate to deal with the trouble in Thorpe's public and private lives....Sports enthusiasts as well as readers interested in the Native American contributions to United States history will find this book commendable and entertaining." ---Chronicles of Oklahoma
  

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Contents

A Vigorous Youth
3
It Is Not Always Size That Counts
12
Carlisle Indian School
21
Glenn S Pop Warner
34
Nobody Is Going to Tackle Jim
48
Natural Athletic Talent
63
The Theoretical Superplayer
78
The Greatest Athlete
99
Jim Thorpe and Charlie Brickley 1917
178
Just Remember Youre a Thorpe
184
Thorpe with team backers 1924
191
With Chicago Park District youngsters 1948
213
Reinstatement
228
Olympic gold medals
234
Retrospect
235
Oorang Indians 1922
247

Gridiron Battles on Equal Terms
114
Wise in the Ways of the World
141
Unbounded Good Nature and Unlimited Courage
153
With the New York Giants 1917
157
Professional Football in Swaddling Clothes
167
Thorpe with Canton Bulldogs 1920
263
Canton Bulldogs 1920 world champions
277
Bibliography
303
Index
309
Copyright

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About the author (1979)

Robert W. Wheeler is founder and President of the Jim Thorpe Foundation. Sport Illustrated credited him with primary responsibility for the restoration of Thorpe's Olympic awards in 1982. He has also been Director of Public Relations for the White House Conference for Children and Youth, Executive Director of the Heart of Ohio Girl Scout Council, and Executive Director of the Brighton (New York) Youth Service and Recreation Agency. He holds degrees in history and education from New York University and Syracuse University.

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