George Taliaferro

Last updated

George Taliaferro
George Taliaferro - 1952 Bowman Large.jpg
Taliaferro on a 1952 Bowman football card
No. 20, 24
Position: Halfback
Quarterback
Personal information
Born:(1927-01-08)January 8, 1927
Gates, Tennessee
Died:October 8, 2018(2018-10-08) (aged 91)
Bloomington, Indiana
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:196 lb (89 kg)
Career information
High school: Gary Roosevelt (Gary, Indiana)
College: Indiana
NFL Draft: 1949  / Round: 13 / Pick: 129
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing touchdowns:15
Rushing yards:2,266
Carries:498
Receptions:95
Receiving yards:1,300
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

George Taliaferro (January 8, 1927 – October 8, 2018) was a professional American football player who was the first African American drafted by a National Football League (NFL) team. [1] Beginning his football career at Indiana University for the Hoosiers team, he played in the NFL for the New York Yanks from 1950 to 1951, the Dallas Texans in 1952, the Baltimore Colts from 1953 to 1954, and Philadelphia Eagles in 1955. Taliaferro was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term typically refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States.

National Football League Professional American football league

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

Contents

Early life

Taliaferro was born in Gates, Tennessee. [2] Before his college years, he moved to Gary, Indiana where he graduated from Gary Roosevelt High School. [2] He attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1945. [2] While at Indiana University, Taliaferro became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. [3]

Gates, Tennessee Town in Tennessee, United States

Gates is a town in Lauderdale County, Tennessee. The population was 901 at the 2000 census and 647 at the 2010 census showing a decline of 254.

Gary, Indiana City in Indiana, United States

Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States, 25 miles (40 km) from downtown Chicago, Illinois. Gary is adjacent to the Indiana Dunes National Park and borders southern Lake Michigan. Gary was named after lawyer Elbert Henry Gary, who was the founding chairman of the United States Steel Corporation. The city is known for its large steel mills, and as the birthplace of the Jackson 5 music group.

Indiana University Bloomington public research university located in Bloomington, Indiana,  United States (this is about the Bloomington campus, not the system of universities)

Indiana University Bloomington is a public research university in Bloomington, Indiana. It is the flagship institution of the Indiana University system and, with over 40,000 students, its largest university.

Career

College football

As the leading rusher and an All-American at Indiana University, he led the Hoosiers team to their only undefeated Big Ten Conference championship. [2] [4] He was a three-time All-American, Taliaferro led the Hoosiers in rushing twice, punting in 1945 and passing in 1948. [2] Taliaferro helped break the color barrier in sports, playing for the Hoosiers two years before Jackie Robinson suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers. [5] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981. [6]

An All-America team is a hypothetical American sports team composed of outstanding amateur players. These players are broadly considered by media and other relevant commentators as the best players in a particular sport, of a specific season, for each team position.

Indiana Hoosiers football

The Indiana Hoosiers football program represents Indiana University Bloomington in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision college football and in the Big Ten Conference. The Hoosiers have played their home games at Memorial Stadium since 1960.

Big Ten Conference American collegiate athletics conference

The Big Ten Conference is the oldest Division I collegiate athletic conference in the United States, based in suburban Chicago, Illinois. Despite its name, the conference consists of 14 members. They compete in the NCAA Division I; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formerly known as Division I-A, the highest level of NCAA competition in that sport. The conference includes the flagship public university in each of 11 states stretching from New Jersey to Nebraska, as well as two additional public land grant schools and a private university.

National Football League (NFL)

Taliaferro, a halfback, quarterback, and punter, was picked by the Chicago Bears in the thirteenth round of the 1949 NFL Draft but instead chose to play for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. [7] This made him the first African American drafted by an NFL team. [4] He played with the Dons in 1949, then moved to the NFL, where he played with the New York Yanks (1950–1951), Dallas Texans (1952), Baltimore Colts (1953–1954), and Philadelphia Eagles (1955). [8] He went to the Pro Bowl in 1951, 1952, and 1953. [9]

Chicago Bears National Football League franchise in Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. The Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, and hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise.

The 1949 National Football League Draft was held on December 21, 1948, at The Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia. The draft was preceded by a secret draft meeting held November 15, 1948, at the Hotel Schenley in Pittsburgh.

Los Angeles Dons football team of the AAFC from Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Dons were an American football team in the now defunct All-America Football Conference from 1946 to 1949 that played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Dons were the first professional football team to play a regular season game in Los Angeles, California, two weeks before the first game of the rival Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League who had moved from Cleveland.

Personal life

A documentary about Taliaferro, titled Indiana Legends: George Taliaferro, was produced by WTIU public television in Bloomington, Indiana. [10] In later years he became a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Baltimore, advised prisoners adjusting to society upon their release, got his master's in social work at Howard University, taught at Maryland, was dean of students at Morgan State, returned to Indiana as a professor and special assistant to IU president John Ryan, and helped start Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana in Bloomington. [11]

WTIU PBS member station in Bloomington, Indiana, United States

WTIU, virtual channel 30, is a PBS member television station located in Bloomington, Indiana, United States. The station is owned by Indiana University, and is a sister station to NPR member radio station WFIU. WTIU maintains studio facilities located on the Indiana University campus on East 7th Street in Bloomington, and its transmitter is located on Sare Road on the city's southeast side.

Bloomington, Indiana City in Indiana, United States

Bloomington is a city in and the county seat of Monroe County in the southern region of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is the seventh-largest city in Indiana and the fourth-largest outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area. According to the Monroe County History Center, Bloomington is known as the "Gateway to Scenic Southern Indiana." The city was established in 1818 by a group of settlers from Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia who were so impressed with "a haven of blooms" that they called it Bloomington.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose goal is to help all children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with volunteer mentors.

Death

Taliaferro died at age 91 on October 8, 2018, in Bloomington, Indiana from heart failure. [4]

Heart failure condition in which the heart is unable to provide sufficient pump action

Heart failure (HF), also known as chronic heart failure (CHF), is when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain blood flow to meet the body's needs. Signs and symptoms of heart failure commonly include shortness of breath, excessive tiredness, and leg swelling. The shortness of breath is usually worse with exercise, while lying down, and may wake the person at night. A limited ability to exercise is also a common feature. Chest pain, including angina, does not typically occur due to heart failure.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Indiana Hoosiers mens basketball mens basketball team of Indiana University Bloomington

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References

  1. "NFL History and Stats - Football History". Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Schumann, Mike (October 9, 2018). "Breaking: IU Legend George Taliaferro Dies at 91". The Daily Hoosier. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  3. Knight, Dawn (2007). Taliaferro: Breaking barriers from the NFL draft to the ivory tower. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 31. ISBN   978-0-253-34931-6.
  4. 1 2 3 "George Taliaferro, Indiana U. football star, first black player drafted in NFL, dies at 91". The Washington Post . Washington DC: Nash holdings, LLC. October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  5. "George Taliaferro, First African-American Player Picked in NFL Draft, Dies at 91". Sports Illustrated . New York City: Meredith Corporation. October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  6. Finley, Patrick (October 9, 2018). "George Taliaferro, first African-American player drafted in NFL, dies at 91". Chicago Sun-Times . Chicago, Illinois: Sun-Times Media Group . Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  7. Mayer, Larry (February 14, 2012). "Smith thrilled to meet Bears' first African American player". Chicago Bears . Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  8. "George Taliaferro Played Quarterback and a Whole Lot More". The Undefeated. September 28, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  9. "References: Player George Taliaferro". Pro-Football Reference. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  10. "Indiana Legends: George Taliaferro". PBS. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  11. "IU football trailblazer George Taliaferro dies at 91". IndyStar. October 9, 2018.

Further reading