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Jim Thorpe: World’s Greatest Athlete Paperback – May 15, 1981

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Jim Thorpe: World’s Greatest Athlete + Carlisle vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner, and the Forgotten Story of Football's Greatest Battle + Jim Thorpe, Original All-American
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert W. Wheeler is founder and President of the Jim Thorpe Foundation. Sport Illustrated credited him with primary responsibility for the restoration of Thorpe's Olympic awards in 1982. He has also been Director of Public Relations for the White House Conference for Children and Youth, Executive Director of the Heart of Ohio Girl Scout Council, and Executive Director of the Brighton (New York) Youth Service and Recreation Agency. He holds degrees in history and education from New York University and Syracuse University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; Revised edition (May 15, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806117451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806117454
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,225,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom Benjey on August 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dick Schaap was right when he said, "Robert W. Wheeler is Jim Thorpe's Boswell." Not only did Wheeler exhaustively research Thorpe's life but he and his wife, Dr. Florence Ridlon, got his Olympic medals restored. This is the gold standard.

Tom Benjey, author of "Doctors, Lawyers, Indian Chiefs" and "Keep A-goin': the life of Lone Star Dietz."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A_Taylor on March 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read over a dozen books on Jim Thorpe and I find Mr. Wheeler's book a truly insightful and beautiful collage of Thorpe's life from the perspective of those who knew him and interacted with him. I found this far more credible than other authors who simply described events from his life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am only about 1/2 way through this book. It's been an interesting read thus far, but it is very slow going.

Jim Thorpe is probably one of the greatest athletes to have ever lived. He got his start at the Carlisle School and played football under Pop Warner. I'm currently to the part where he has gone to the 1912 Olympics.

The story itself is fascinating and there is a lot of great information on Native Americans and how they were educated at the end of the 19th century.

So far, my biggest gripe is that much of the book seems to be written from newspaper articles. However, I realize that many of the subjects had probably passed away before they could be interviewed as this book was written in the 1970s, but this book doesn't flow well. It's as if they articles are used to tell and move the story along, instead of the story being told and highlighted with quotes and anecdotes from articles.

Still, it's an interesting read, about someone I previously didn't know anything about. Recommend to sports fanatics. :)

07/23/15 - Update - Well, it took me a year from the date of writing this to actually finish the book. It was interesting - when the author would actually write. Unfortunately, he relied entirely too much on injecting entire newspaper articles or letters into the book. It would have been so much better if he had taken the information and written about it and used quotes as appropriate, like most biographers do. It was too much... he'd write a couple introductory sentences and then there would be a three page reprinting of some news article, or printing blurbs from several different articles about the same topic. It was distracting and ruined the flow of the life story of this incredible athlete and his accomplishments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on September 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing how the author touched on Jim Thorpes life. Made me more aware of his accomplishments & where he came from to succeed.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
THIS IS THE FINEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN, OF THE FAMED NATIVE AMERICAN, JAMES FRANCIS THORPE...1912 DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL OLYMPIC CHAMPION, FIRST TEAM FOOTBALL ALL-AMERICAN-1911 AND 1912, FIRST 'BONUS-BABY' IN BASEBALL'S MAJOR LEAGUES-1913, SAVED PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL VIA HIS PLAYING PARTICIPATION-1915, FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE PRE NFL-1920... THORPE, 'THE LEGEND'..FEARED AS THE 'SCOURAGE OF THE PRO GRIDIRON', AND LOVED BY AN ENTIRE COUNTRY...AS WELL AS TOLD BY A KING, THAT HE WAS INDEED, "THE WORLD'S GREATEST ATHLETE!"...NUFF' SAID!
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Jim Thorpe: World’s Greatest Athlete
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