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Lot # 1508 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1950 Jim Thorpe Signed Letter with All American Movie Content

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,175

One-page typed letter, dated March 26, 1950, and written on Hotel Statler Buffalo letterhead, signed by legendary Olympic gold-medal winner and Hall of Fame football player Jim Thorpe. Thorpe letters in general are rare, and the fact that this one specifically references the film Jim Thorpe - All American is especially noteworthy. In his letter, written to Major Ednyfed H. Williams, Thorpe offers his regrets in not being able to attend a testimonial dinner for Arch Ward, longtime sports editor of the Chicago Tribune (Williams was the chairman of the testimonial dinner committee). In full:

Dear Sir: Your letter, tendering an invitation to attend the testimonial dinner in honor of Arch Ward, sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, reached me when I arrived here from New York. It is with the most sincere regret I must advise you it will be impossible for me to be there to help honor Arch. He is a grand guy and is well beloved by all sports lovers, the country over. I am under contract to Ed. Don George of this city until the first of June. Then I go to the coast to act as a technical advisor on my life story, The All American, which is to go into production at Warner Bros., this summer. Please tell Arch how much I should like to be there and that I will be thinking of him and wish him every happiness and continued success, both as one of the best sports writers in the country and one of the nicest people I know. This occasion in his honor could not happen to a better man. With all good wishes to all who are participating in this occasion and with my sincere affection to Arch Ward, I am, Jim Thorpe [signed].

Thorpe's signature has been scripted in blue fountain pen and grades "7." Arch Ward was one of the leading figures in sports journalism between the years 1930 and 1955 (the year of his death) and is best known today as the man who came up with the idea for, and helped organize, Major League Baseball's first All-Star Game in 1933. Thorpe is considered by many to be the greatest all-around athlete of the twentieth century. An Olympic gold-medal winner in the decathalon at the 1912 Games, Thorpe was also one of the greatest players ever to set foot on the gridiron and is a charter member in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. As noted in his letter, Thorpe's life was brought to the silver screen in the 1951 release Jim Thorpe - All American , which starred Burt Lancaster. Thorpe passed away in 1953 at the age of sixty-five. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) has normal mailing folds and is in Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,175

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