Viewing page 2 of 3

page 2.

But, by her own admission, her father also suffered many personal defeats. "In 1912 he was an international hero--proclaimed by kings and queens around the world. In New York City he had a ticker tape parade and was just the greatest hero ever.

"He won eight first place events in winning both the Pentathlon and Decathlon in the 1912 Olympics in Sweden," she continued.

"But the year 1936 found him digging ditches in Hawthorne, Calif., under the WPA. He didn't even have four dollars to go see the Olympic games in Los Angeles four years earlier.

"The point I'm trying to make is that he went as far up as you can probably go and as far down in his personal life as you can go, but he was tops in his field of interests.  So maybe he wasn't successful as a business man.

"That's the message I want to leave with you."

Earlier in the ceremony, Dr. Jack Rose, a teacher and former track coach at Long Beach State and the current executive director of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, spoke to the crowd about the continuing effort to have Jim Thorpe's amateur status reinstated and his trophies from the 1912 Olympics, now resting in the Olympic Hall of Fame in Switzerland, returned to his family.

"The trophies should be returned to the Jim Thorpe Foundation," he said.

"Returning the medals would be difficult because they went to the runnerups when Thorpe returned them."

Thorpe was stripped of medals he won for his efforts in 1912 when it was discovered he had played semi-professional baseball for $15 a week during the summer of 1910 and 11.

In July of 1976, the AAU reinstated Jim Thorpe as an amateur and the United States Olympic Committee asked the International Olympic Committee to follow suit.  That request was tabled by the IOC.

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact