After reading a fine article by ESPN’s by Kurt Streeter, The Spirit Of A Legend, (link below) the question on the burial place for Jim Thorpe, many consider the World’s Greatest Athlete, has come to the fore front of my Sunday afternoon. Should his mortal remains be removed from his current resting place in a Pennsylvania town with his namesake, Jim Thorpe, or does the religious concerns and the wishes of the current blood family of the man trump the contracts and latest rulings by the United State’s court system? It is one dispute that will, in my opinion, continue for the near future if not for many years to come.
(For those not familiar with Thorpe, he was born in present day Oklahoma, was an Olympic champion, named the world’s greatest athlete by his accomplishments in the Games of the V Olympiad in Stockholm 1912, and played professional football, baseball, and basketball at the highest level. He is a member of the NFL Hall-of-Fame in Canton, Ohio, inducted in 1963. In a poll of sports fans conducted by ABC Sports, Thorpe was voted the Greatest Athlete of the Twentieth Century out of 15 other athletes including Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nicklaus, and Michael Jordan.)
Jim Thorpe is buried in Jim Thorpe, Penn. His bones were buried there after they were “stolen” by his third wife just after a funeral in Oklahoma and sent eastward for a cash payout to that last wife of the man. The town re-named the town in his honor as a condition of the burial there
Thorpe’s children fought and lost a lawsuit in the Federal courts, beginning in 2010, to have his remains brought back to his home/birth lands of Oklahoma, which was a failure. The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear a final argument in 2015, closing the case on legal ground.
Thope’s current family believe that his soul is wandering the earth and he is not, by his Sac & Fox tribe, resting peacefully.
The fight for Indian rights continues for those that believe that the Native American in this country have never been give a square deal by the government of this country.
Read the article for historical reference, as it is a definitive look at the Jim Thorpe situation and his final resting place. I, for one, not being a Native American, should not have an opinion on this. But as a human being, it should be a man’s children, not a third wife (as in this case) that determines where he should be laid to rest. And if I had found out that a third wife did the deed for money, I would be totally pissed.