The IU player who was the 1st Black Drafted By The NFL

The IU player who was the 1st Black Drafted By The NFL

In 1949, IU standout running back George Taliaferro made history as the 1st African-American player drafted by the National Football league.

Taliaferro, (91) now resides in Bloomington, IN


Taliaferro had an historic career as an All-American for Indiana University, where he led the team in rushing while leading them to an undefeated Big Ten Conference Championship.

In the 1949 NFL Draft the Chicago Bears chose Taliaferro in the 13th round — but he declined their pick and instead decided to play with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference.

He eventually transitioned into the NFL the following year, and played in the league for 5 seasons — making 3 Pro Bowls.

Taliaferro — who is now 91 years old — now resides in the home of Indiana University, Bloomington.

The Black Indy History Series — celebrating Black History Month — covers historic Black Hoosiers & Events that shaped the Black Indianapolis Community, and beyond.