James (Jim) Francis Thorpe

Class of
James (Jim) Francis Thorpe

James (Jim) Francis Thorpe

“Jim Thorpe could have made any team in any league…There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do better than anyone else.”
Jimmy Conzelman, 1963


Among the greatest athletes in history, James Francis Thorpe is legendary. Born on a farm near Prague to parents who were part Sac and Fox and part Pottawatomie, he attended both Haskell and Carlisle Indian Schools (1907-1912). He became an international sports hero at the 1912 Olympics in Sweden, where he won the decathlon and pentathlon. In the pentathlon he won four of the five events while in the decathlon he scored a new world-record of 8,412 points.

Thorpe was crowned the “greatest athlete of the half century” by a 1950 Associated Press poll of America’s sportswriters, and in 1969, the National Football League included Thorpe in its NFL 50th Anniversary All Time Team. In 1999 The Oklahoman chose him as the state’s greatest athlete of the 20th century.

Fun fact

It has been written that Jim Thorpe went downfield twice to catch his own punts! He was the ultimate all-around athlete, not just in football: his bowling average was 200, his golf score in the 70s, and he was an outstanding major league baseball player for six seasons. In his final season of college football for Carlisle, in 1912, he scored 22 points in a 27-6 win against Army.

Oklahoma connections

Thorpe was born on a farm near Prague, Oklahoma.









Relevant Exhibits

Green Country: From Lenapah to Prague

Green Country: From Lenapah to Prague

This exhibit features the lives of 18 Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductees from the 18-county region in northeast Oklahoma.