Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk -- Native American Son: Jim Thorpe

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 28, 2012 8:21 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Friday, September 28:

Jim Thorpe.jpgThe word legendary is probably used to describe celebrities in today's culture much too often.  But when the word is applied in front of Jim Thorpe's name -- it fits and actually may not be a strong enough adjective.

Thorpe arguably was America's top athlete of all time.  While a student at the Carlisle Indian School in Cumberland County, he won two gold medals in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm and was an All-America football player.  Later he played Major League baseball and professional football.

Thorpe's athletic feats are what constitute the legend.  The man himself was much more than what he did on the field and unfortunately much of Thorpe's life was not nearly as glorious.  In fact, sad or unfulfilled may be the best ways to describe Thorpe's life away from sports.

Kate Buford, the author of the book Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe, will appear on Friday's Radio Smart Talk to discuss an American icon that many don't know a whole lot about.

Listen to the program:

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-28 08:48

    Hi, Great program as always.
    E-mail from Jeff:

    "I was in St. Augustine, FL several years ago and was amazed to learn that Pratt was in charge of the Fort there. He “perfected” his Indian retraining method there then took to Carlisle. An awful lot of native Americans died while being held there. Also, just a look at the “before and after” pictures of the Indian children at Carlisle…it breaks my heart. You can literally see the “light disappear from their eyes.” Such a heartbreaking chapter in our history."

  • BarbLandis img 2012-09-28 10:53

    Kate Buford will be in Carlisle next week, Thursday Oct 4, 2012 reading from NATIVE AMERICAN SON as a pre-symposium event. For more information, go to

  • Ann img 2013-08-02 09:08

    Hi Scott, I take objection with your guest, when he compared the postal service to any government run program. From what I know, the postal service is its own entity, taking ZERO dollars from the tax payers. And they have not run it into the ground; the internet appeared, making regular mail almost obsolete. Futhermore,our population is not into writing or sending cards or thank you notes!!!they prefer texting, the instant gratification population.If you have gone anywhere else in the world, you would know our postal service is the best in the world.:-)