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Jim Thorpe

Photo of Jim Thorpe

Inducted: 1975, athlete

Born: May 28, 1888 - Shawnee, Oklahoma
Deceased: February 28, 1953

Decathlon - 6756 pts.

Recognized as perhaps the great athlete of all time, James "Jim" Thorpe excelled in every sport he attempted. A Sac-Fox Native American, Thorpe was a two-time All-American in football and starred in baseball, basketball and track at Carlisle Indian School. His track exploits won him a place on the 1912 Olympic team in two individual events (the high jump and long jump) and two multi-events (the pentathlon and decathlon). Thorpe took his challenge in stride, even though he had never competed in a decathlon and only begun throwing a javelin (one of the 10 events) two months earlier. In Stockholm, he won both multi-events, setting a world record in the decathlon, and taking fourth in the high jump and seventh in the long jump. However, he was stripped of his medals when it was revealed that he had played semi-pro baseball in 1911. It wasn't until 1983 -- 30 years after his death -- that Thorpe's medals were reinstated. Thorpe later played professional football and was one of the first stars of the National Football League, earning him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also played major league baseball with several teams. He was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.

1912 Olympics: Decathlon (1st)
1912 Olympics: Pentathlon (1st)
1912 Olympics: High Jump (4th)
1912 Olympics: Long Jump (7th)

high school: Haskell (Haskell, Oklahoma)
undergraduate: Carlisle Indian (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), 1913

Professional football player
Professional baseball player

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