Jim Thorpe was an American Indian who played football and won a gold medal at the 1912 Olympics. The story of his life is a fascinating one, but it’s also full of contradictions.
His mother died when he was an infant, and his father enrolled him at an Indian school in Stroud, Kansas, but he ran away from the school and went to live with friends in Garden Grove, California. It was here that he learned to hunt and trap prey, and the endurance that became his trademark.
He eventually found his way to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where he made his mark on the track and field team. He was a natural athlete and quickly rose to prominence. He set numerous records, including a decathlon and a pentathlon.
After his glory days as a sports star, Thorpe struggled with alcohol addiction and divorced several times. He was eventually able to make a living by speaking and teaching.
When he was a child, Thorpe had an uncanny ability to recognize and distinguish the difference between different species of animals. It was a skill that would serve him well in his medical career, according to Harrington’s article.
Thorpe was also a devoted student of the art of medicine. His mentor, the surgeon James Bell, was an inspiration to Doyle. He taught his students to use their eyes, rather than their ears, in order to distinguish a patient’s condition.