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Dr. Robert Reising Continues Athlete's Legend


Great athletes tend to be forgotten. Very few people know the greatest athlete of the 20th century. Jim Thorpe, a man, who won Olympic gold in both the decathlon and pentathlon, played basketball, baseball and football professionally, was a national champion ballroom dancer, and excelled at virtually ever sport imaginable.

When one such athlete exits the limelight, another is ready to take their place. Though their influence fades from the public mind, their legend can live on through the records of their achievements and through the people who bring those achievements to the forefront.

Thanks to University of the Cumberlands' Dr. Robert Reising, the legend of Jim Thorpe will not be forgotten. Reising has contributed as much, if not more, than anyone to Thorpe's legacy. He is recognized as a national expert and it is not rare for CNN, ESPN or "The New York Times" to seek his comments on the subject.

Before making his way to University of the Cumberlands, Reising taught English at University of North Carolina, Pembroke, where he single-handedly launched a Jim Thorpe scholarship. Reising looks to do the same at Cumberland, where he teaches in the education department and continues his study of Jim Thorpe.

Reising has tried to go about the study of Thorpe in a way that Thorpe himself would approve. Thorpe loved sport, not money and Reising never profits from his expertise. As Reising has said, “I will gladly speak with any group, anywhere if there is a donation to the Thorpe fund.”

Reising has written two books about Thorpe: “Jim Thorpe (The Story of an American Indian)” and “Jim Thorpe: Tar Heel.” In the works is Reising's third book. No doubt he will shed new light on a life yet to be fully understood by the general public.

One man was the greatest athlete ever to live and the other has the greatest knowledge of that life. Together, the legend lives on.

If you would like more information on how Reising can speak to your group, please contact University of the Cumberlands’ Media Relations at (606) 539-4404.