George Taliaferro Dies At 91, First Black Man Drafted By NFL Team

George Taliaferro Dies At 91, First Black Man Drafted By NFL Team

George Taliaferro's professional football career - which included three Pro Bowl selections as a versatile weapon - was certainly impressive enough.

George Taliaferro - known as the "Jackie Robinson of Football" after becoming the 1st black player drafted by an NFL team - died Monday. his alma mater, Indiana University, confirmed.

Taliaferro, who was a three-time All-American at IN, was drafted by the Chicago Bears IN the 13th round of the 1949 draft, but he never played for the team. However, Taliaferro choose to play with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference.

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In 1945, the three-time All-American Taliaferro led IN to its first Big Ten championship.

In the NFL, Taliaferro played seven positions - quarterback, running back, wide receiver, punter, kick returner, punt returner and defensive back.

Taliaferro entered the National Football League in 1950 after the AAFC folded and played six seasons, with the New York Yanks (1950-51), Dallas Texans ('52), Baltimore Colts ('53-54) and Philadelphia Eagles ('55). He also recorded 1,300 receiving yards and 12 touchdown receptions. He led IN in passing, rushing and punting IN different seasons at Indiana. Named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl that season, Taliaferro had two touchdowns each on the ground, through the air and as a passer. And he continued to be a champion for fairness, compassion and equality well past his playing days, serving as a special assistant to then-IU President John Ryan, a proud and dedicated IU alumnus and a tireless community activist, always working to keep open the doors of education for minority students so they could follow in his footsteps.

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