The Madeleine Brand Show

The Madeleine Brand Show is a daily, two-hour program that looks at news and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Madeleine Brand

Folk hero or little known athlete? The life of Jim Thorpe

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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Sports legend, Jim Thorpe at the New York Polo Grounds in 1913 Library of Congress

One of this country's greatest athletes is someone many Americans have never heard of. Jim Thorpe won Olympic gold medals in track in 1912, and went on to play football and baseball, beating Babe Ruth in an AP Writers' poll of best athletes of the 20th century. But, Kate Buford tells us why he was stripped of his medals and died an alcoholic. Her biography of Thorpe is Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe.

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