DECEMBER 10, 1921


Daughter of Jim Thorpe, Grace was born in Yale, Oklahoma.  A descendent of Chief Black Hawk, she also had Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Menominee heritage.  In 1943, she joined the Womens’ Auxiliary Army Corps and served in New Guinea, the Philippines, and Japan, earning a Bronze Star.  In 1969, during the Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island, she handled publicity and was a negotiator.  In the 1970s, Grace was a lobbyist for the National Congress of American Indians, co-founder of the National Indian Women’s Action Corps, an Urban Fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a legislative assistant to the U.S. House of Representatives’ American Indian Policy Review Commission.  In the 1990s, she served as director for the National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans.  She wrote: Our Homes are not Dumps: Creating Nuclear Free Zones and My Father Jim Thorpe: World’s Greatest Athlete.  Grace died on April 1, 2008, in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Sources:  Editor, NFIC. "Thorpe, Grace: Daughter of Jim Thorpe Passes on," Indian Country News, April 2008.  Retrieved 7/22/2019, Editor, “Voices From Alcatraz Island,” Indian Country Today, 9/2/2017.  Retrieved 7/22/2019,
Photo:  Grace Thorpe Collection, Smithsonian, National Museum of the American Indian.  Potentially U.S. Army official photograph.  Author and date unknown.  Fair Use:  This is being used for non-commercial/educational purposes only.  Further Fair Use justification provided upon request.  Author is not known and subject is deceased.  No other public domain substitute is available.  There is no diminution in value.

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