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“Path Lit by Lightning” Jim Thorpe Panel Discussion

October 29, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT


Lafayette College’s Helen H. P. Manson Professor of Bible, Eric Ziolkowski moderates a panel discussion of brilliant athlete Jim Thorpe’s life and legacy, as assessed in this year’s bestselling David Maraniss biography, “Path Lit By Lighting”. Panelist and Easton resident (as well as a Jim Thorpe PA native) Kayley Hoffman was the book’s Simon & Schuster production editor. Panelist Robert Thurston is a Professor Emeritus of History, at Miami University, Oxford Ohio. Panelist Daniel M. Cobb is a Professor of American Studies at the University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill.

A riveting new biography of America’s greatest all-around athlete by the bestselling author of the classic biography When Pride Still Mattered.

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. At Carlisle, he dealt with the racist assimilationist philosophy “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” His gold medals were unfairly rescinded because he had played minor-league baseball.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. He roamed from state to state and took bit parts in Hollywood, but even the film of his own life failed to improve his fortunes. But for all his travails, Thorpe did not succumb. The man survived, complications and all, and so did the myth.

Easton Book Festival David Maraniss Path Lit by Lightening Jim Thorpe Author David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post and a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. He has won two Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and was a finalist three other times. Among his bestselling books are biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, and Vince Lombardi, and a trilogy about the 1960s—Rome 1960Once in a Great City (winner of the RFK Book Prize); and They Marched into Sunlight (winner of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize and Pulitzer Finalist in History).


Sigal Museum’s Auditorium
342 Northampton St
Easton, PA 18042 United States
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(610) 253-1222
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