Grace Thorpe was born on December 10, 1921, in Yale, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of famous American Indian Olympic athlete James Thorpe and Iva Margaret Miller Thorpe. Grace lived in Oklahoma, Chicago, and California as a child. In 1943 at age 21 Grace joined the World War II war effort and worked with the Women’s Army Corps helping to recruit women for the military. After the war Grace moved to Japan and continued working for the military while also marrying and having two children. After she and her husband separated Grace moved back to the United States where she became an American Indian activist. Grace remained an American Indian activist until her death in 2008 fighting for issues such as the return of surplus lands to American Indian tribes and the prevention of storage of nuclear waste on Indian reservations.