Native American Son: Jim Thorpe
Kate Buford's book "Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe" tackles the life of this legendary football and Olympic star, a complex character whose life had many acts. Thorpe, a Sac and Fox Indian from Oklahoma, won both the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics, only to be stripped of those medals due to the violation of having played minor league baseball. He was a star on the famous Carlisle, PA. Indian school's college football team, and eventually played both professional football and baseball. He was oft-married, battled alcoholism, acted in degrading roles in Hollywood movies in non-speaking parts as an American Indian, fished, hunted, was a merchant marine during World War II, a bar and restaurant owner, a security guard at a Ford plant, and a vocal supporter of Native American causes. He is an American icon and a largely misunderstood figure who is finally being given a thorough biography by a talented writer.