“Mobituaries”: The final resting place of sports superstar Jim Thorpe

Nestled in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains is a charming borough known as Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. This town was once nicknamed “the Switzerland of America” and is now filled with various establishments and institutions that bear the name Jim Thorpe. The town’s mayor, Michael Sofranko, proudly expresses how the perception of their town has changed over the years. Jim Thorpe, the man the town is named after, gained worldwide fame after winning gold medals in track and field events in the 1912 Olympics. Not only was he an exceptional athlete, but he also became an actor and advocated for Native American representation in Hollywood. Born in Prague, Oklahoma on the Sac and Fox Reservation, Jim Thorpe’s legacy is carried on by his descendants. However, his family was divided on where he should be buried after his death in 1953. Eventually, his widow negotiated a deal to have his body buried in the Poconos region, which led to the birth of the resort town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. For a detailed account of Jim Thorpe’s life and how he ended up buried in a town he never lived in, listen to Mo Rocca’s podcast “Mobituaries.”

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