The Unbelievable Career of Jim Thorpe

1 min read – Jim Thorpe was a legendary athlete who became a household name in the early 1900s. He was a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a multi-sport professional athlete. He achieved great success in football, baseball, and basketball, and is considered one of the best all-around athletes in history. This article will explore the incredible career of Jim Thorpe.

The Unbelievable Career of Jim Thorpe: A Story of Triumph and Tragedy

The Unbelievable Career of Jim Thorpe: A Story of Triumph and Tragedy


Jim Thorpe was a Native American athlete who rose to fame in the early 20th century. He was born on May 28, 1887, in a small town in Oklahoma. Thorpe’s life was marked by incredible achievements and heartbreaking tragedies.

Athletic Career

Jim Thorpe was a multi-talented athlete who competed in a variety of sports. He excelled in track and field, football, basketball, and baseball. Thorpe won two gold medals in the 1912 Olympics, setting new records in the pentathlon and decathlon. He was also an outstanding football player, leading the Carlisle Indian Industrial School to several victories.

Professional Career

After leaving college, Jim Thorpe embarked on a professional sports career. He played for several football teams, including the Canton Bulldogs and the New York Giants. Thorpe also played professional baseball for the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Reds. He was one of the first athletes to play both professional football and baseball.


Despite his many successes, Jim Thorpe faced several controversies in his career. In 1912, it was discovered that he had played semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics. As a result, Thorpe was stripped of his gold medals. He also faced accusations of professionalism in football, which led to his suspension from the sport in 1920.

Later Life and Legacy

Jim Thorpe’s later life was marked by personal struggles and financial difficulties. He suffered from alcoholism and struggled to support his family. Thorpe passed away on March 28, 1953, at the age of 65. Despite his personal struggles, Thorpe’s legacy as one of the greatest athletes of all time remains intact. He was posthumously awarded his Olympic gold medals in 1982, and the Jim Thorpe Award is given annually to the best college defensive back in the United States.


Jim Thorpe’s life was a story of triumph and tragedy. He achieved incredible success in his athletic career but faced numerous controversies and personal struggles. Despite these challenges, Thorpe’s legacy as one of the greatest athletes of all time continues to inspire generations of athletes and sports fans.

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