The King of Sweden told Thorpe: "Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world." And in the early 1900s, he was. The Native-American athlete dabbled in track & field, baseball and football. He won gold medals for the decathlon and pentathlon at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912, was a collegiate football all-American in 1911 and 1912 and was voted top American athlete of the first half of the 20th century in 1950 (looks like the King was right!). Thorpe's accomplishments were great but his greatest was the founding of the American Professional Football Association, as it went on to become the NFL.