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Grace Thorpe, tribal judge and daughter of Jim Thorpe

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Associated Press / April 7, 2008

CLAREMORE, Okla. - Grace Thorpe, a tribal judge, anti-nuclear activist, and the daughter of Olympic great Jim Thorpe, died Tuesday of heart failure at the Claremore Veterans Center. She was 86.

Ms. Thorpe was a direct descendent of Sac and Fox chief Black Hawk and was of Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Menominee heritage, according to Park Brothers Funeral Service.

She was a World War II veteran, having served as a Women's Army Corps corporal in the Philippines and Japan. She was awarded a Bronze Star for her actions at the battle of New Guinea.

She was a personnel interviewer for General Douglas MacArthur at his headquarters in Tokyo during the occupation of Japan.

She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and a paralegal degree from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C.

She also was an Urban Fellow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed MBA course work at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.

She was a tribal district court judge.

Ms. Thorpe served as a congressional liaison to the US House of Representatives American Indian Policy Review Commission. She was also known as a champion of the environment, serving as director for the National Environmental Coalition of Native Americans.

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