James Francis Thorpe was born on May 28, 1887 in a one-room cabin in Prague
) Oklahoma east of Oklahoma City
and just north of Interstate 40
. He had some French and Irish blood but he was of mostly Sac and Fox Indian heritage. His Indian name, Wa-Tho-Huk, is translated as "Bright Path".
In showcasing Thorpe's athletic ability, one must look first to the 1912 Olympic Games where he won both the pentathlon and decathlon events. Later that year, he led his Carlisle Indian School football team to the national collegiate championship by scoring 25 touchdowns.
Thorpe went on to play six years in baseball's Major Leagues and led the Canton Bulldogs football team to the unofficial World Championship in 1916, 1917, and 1919. He served as the first president of the American Professional Football Association (precursor of the National Football League) in 1920 and retired from the sport in 1928.
Thorpe passed away in March of 1953.