David Maraniss – Jim Thorpe Story: A Path Lit By Lightning

Sep 20, 2022 | aging, books, culture, Health, politics, seniors, technology

David Maraniss – Jim Thorpe Story: A Path Lit By Lightning

Smithsonian Associates Not Old Better Show Interview Series

Welcome to The Not Old Better Show, Smithsonian Associates interview series on radio and podcast.  I’m Paul Vogelzang, and for all of us in The Not Old Better Show audience, we will remember ‘the greatest athlete of all time.”  Not Babe Ruth, not Wilt Chamberlain, and not Jim Brown, but Jim Thorpe.  

Thank you so much for listening.  We’ve got a great guest today, whom I’ll introduce in just a moment…But, quickly, if you missed any episodes, last week was our 662nd episode, and we spoke to historian and genealogist Jenny Ashcraft about new headlines and what they teach us about ancestry from Newspapers.com.  Two weeks ago, I spoke with  Smithsonian Associate Dr. Marc Seifer about his new book, TESLA: Wizard at War, about Nikola Tesla’s war efforts and technology…  Wonderful stuff…If you missed those shows, you can go back and check them out along with my entire back-catalog of shows, all free for you there on our website, NotOldBetter.com…and if you leave a review, we will read it at the end of each show…leave reviews on Apple Podcasts for us.

Our guest today is Smithsonian Associate Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss.  David Maraniss will be appearing at Smithsonian Associates coming up, and you can check our website in the show notes today for more details.  The title of David Maraniss’s presentation is Jim Thorpe: Outracing the Odds. We will be talking with David Maraniss today about his new book, ‘Path Lit By Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe.’

That, of course, is our guest today, Smithsonian Associate David Maraniss, reading from his new book, Path Lit By Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe.’

Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was an All-American football player at the Carlisle Indian School, the star of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played major-league baseball for John McGraw’s New York Giants. Even in the golden age of sports celebrities, he was one of a kind.

But despite his colossal skills, Thorpe’s life was a struggle against the odds. As a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, he encountered duplicitous authorities who turned away from him when their reputations were at risk.  His gold medals were unfairly rescinded because he had played Minor-League baseball. His later life was troubled by alcohol, broken marriages, and financial distress. 

We’ll discuss all this and America’s greatest all-around athlete who, for all his travails, did not succumb. The man survived, complications and all, and so did the myth.

Please join me in welcoming to the Not Old Better Show on radio and podcast Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss.

Our review today is from Joseph G. Mejorado

Sept 13, 2022, 

Joseph Mejorado says Good works!

Through this show, I find something that improves my daily life. Really good job.

Thank you, Joseph, and My thanks to David Maraniss for his generous time today and for generously reading from his new book, Path Lit By Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe.’Path Lit By Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe.’Path Lit By Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe.’

My thanks to the Smithsonian team for all they do to support the show.

My thanks to you, my wonderful Not Old Better Show audience on radio and podcast.  Please be well, and be safe, which I’m telling you each show, followed by my message to eliminate assault rifles. Only members of the military use these weapons.  Assault rifles are killing our children and grandchildren in the very places they learn: school.  Let’s do better.  Let’s talk about better.  The Not Old Better Show on radio and podcast.  Thanks, everybody, and we’ll see you next week.  Today’s music, Ho Way Hey Yo is from Smithsonian Folkways is particularly relevant, Heartbeat: Voices of First Nations Women, from the Ceremonial and social songs traditionally sung by women of Seneca, Cherokee, Creek, Dine (Di Nay) tribes. And other music is now performed by women and material that combines traditional and contemporary themes and musical forms.