George Taliaferro
New York Yanks quarterback George Taliaferro, 1949 Rookie of The Year, runs on the field, carrying a football, circa 1949. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

George Taliaferro, star Indiana running back who in 1949 became the first black player drafted by an NFL team, died Monday night. He was 91.

His death was announced by the George Taliaferro Sport Association.

Taliaferro, a three-time All-American at Indiana, was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 13th round of the 1949 draft, but never played for the team.

He entered the league the following year after playing for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference in the 1949 season. He eventually played six seasons in the NFL for four different teams, including the Baltimore Colts and Philadelphia Eagles, and made three Pro Bowls.

In his pro football career, Taliaferro rushed for 2,266 yards on 498 carries, caught 95 passes for 1,300 yards and scored 27 total touchdowns.

After retirement, Taliaferro who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1981, returned to his native Indiana where he worked for the University of Indiana.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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