Jim Thorpe Ê

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Jim Thorpe

1888- 1953

Olympic Athlete

Legendary all-around athlete Jim Thorpe won the decathlon and the pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, but was made to give up the gold when officials found he had played semi-pro baseball several years before, thus impinging on his amateur status. It took the International Olympic Committee until 1983 to rectify the matter and restore the medals to Thorpe's heirs. But Jim Thorpe went on after those ill-fated Olympics to excel in baseball and football, becoming the first president of the NFL in 1920 (or the American Professional Football Association, as it was then known). In his later years, Thorpe, a Native American, became an important voice in Indian issues.