John Levi
1972 - Track/Football - Arapaho

DATE OF BIRTH: June 14, 1898
  • BIRTH PLACE: Bridgeport, Oklahoma
  • TRIBE: Arapaho
  • EDUCATION: Haskell Indian School
  • SPORTS DATA: Football/Baseball

  • All-American football - Fullback 1923
  • Professional baseball - New York Yankees
  • Jim Thorpe says of John Levi: He is the greatest Athlete I have ever seen.
  • Minneapolis Tribune: He is 20 years old. He is six feet two inches tall and like all Indian Athletes is wiry and sinewy and carries no useless flesh. He weighs an even two hundred pounds, and it is all "fighting weight".
COMMENTS:From James Houston Turner "Big John"
  • "THE great Jim Thorpe stands tall and first in the line of football legends. But Thorpe knew someone who was better! His Arapaho name meant Charging Buffalo, but to those on the campus of Haskell Indian Institute, John Levi was known simply as "Skee." To everyone else, he is remembered as BIG JOHN".
  • "THE STORY: voted first team All-American fullback his junior year, Olympic hopeful John Levi looked poised to surpass Thorpe's amazing athletic accomplishments. But not everyone was happy with Levi's success. By defeating nearly every team they played, Haskell - a tiny remedial Indian school in the mud flats of eastern Kansas - had become a threat to the nation's prestigious university athletic system. They had to be stopped. And Levi was the key. What follows is Levi's heart-rending triumph over incredible odds, including one of the most extraordinary actual football games never recorded."