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.
He was 91 years old.
Taliaferro was a superstar at IU back in the late 1940s … playing running back, quarterback and punter — and garnering All-American honors three times.
When he left the school in 1949, the Chicago Bears picked him in the 13th round … becoming the first-ever black man to be drafted into the league.
Taliaferro made three Pro Bowls in 1951, 1952 and 1953 … and finished his career with 1,300 receiving yards, more than 2,000 rushing yards and 1,633 passing yards.
“All of us at Indiana University are deeply saddened by the passing of George Taliaferro,” IU said in a statement.
“The ‘Jackie Robinson of football,’ he went on to become the first African-American player to be drafted by the National Football League, where he excelled at a remarkable seven positions and earned Pro Bowl honors in three of his six seasons.”
“A man of enormous talent, courage and determination that helped him shatter racial barriers and earn a special place in the annals of our state and its flagship public university.”
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