George Taliaferro (born January 8, 1927) is a former professional American football player. He was the first African American drafted by a National Football League team.
As the leading rusher and an All-American at Indiana University, he led the Hoosier football program to their only undefeated Big Ten Conference championship. A three-time All-American, Taliaferro led the Hoosiers in rushing twice, punting in 1945 and passing in 1948. Taliaferro helped break the color barrier in sports, playing for the Hoosiers two years before Jackie Robinson suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981. While at IU, Taliaferro became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Taliaferro, a halfback, quarterback, and punter, was picked by the Chicago Bears in the thirteenth round of the 1949 NFL Draft but chose to play instead with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. He played with the Dons in 1949, then moved to the NFL, where he played with the New York Yanks 1950-51, Dallas Texans 1952, Baltimore Colts 1953-54, and Philadelphia Eagles 1955. He went to the Pro Bowl in 1951, 1952, and 1953.
A documentary about Taliaferro, titled Indiana Legends: George Taliaferro, was recently produced by WTIU public television in Bloomington, Indiana.
He now resides in Bloomington, Indiana where his wife is a retired juvenile court judge.
By Dean Hanley
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