George Taliaferro

  • Born: January 8, 1927
  • Died: October 8, 2018
  • Location:


George Taliaferro

First African-American player drafted by an NFL team…

George Taliaferro was the first African-American player to be drafted by an NFL team. The Chicago Bears drafted the All-American halfback out of Indiana University in 1949. Though he was fan of the Bears, he had already signed with the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference. After the league folded in 1950, he joined the New York Yanks of the NFL. For full obituary and coverage from, click here.

Condolence & Memory Journal

may god be with you

Posted by A friend   February 08, 2019

Continued prayers to the family. You were truly an inspiration. May God watch over your loved ones.

Posted by A friend   December 27, 2018

We had the pleasure and the honor of being neighbors of the Taliaferros in Bloomington in 2003-2006. They were the nicest couple I have ever meet, and their moral stature was only parallel to their kindness and cordiality. My kids were back then 10-12 years old, and big football fans. When they learned that our neighbor across the street was a famous football player, they were in awe of him. My son Carlos choose Mr Taliaferro as the subject of the presentation he did at school for Black History Month. Mr Taliaferro allowed him to pay him a "research visit" for the preparation of the presentation, and they spent a lot of time together. Since then, my children, specially Carlos, have been immunized against racism and intolerance. Mr Taliaferro has died after a long and exemplary life, but he will live forever in the hearts of thousands of people, even this Spanish family that was fortunate enough to share some moments with Mr and Mrs Taliaferro. Our sincerest condolences to Mrs Taliaferro and to all the family from Oxford, United Kingdom

Posted by Juan-Carlos Conde - Bloomington, IN - neighbor   December 21, 2018

My sincere condolences to Mrs. Viola, Renee, Linda, Donna, Terri, and the rest of Taliaferro family. Praying that God will bless and keep each one of you and cover you with his love and his peace during your time of bereavement.

Posted by A friend   November 29, 2018

To the family and friends, please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of George, may God give you strength and comfort during this difficult time. (Psalms 46 :1)

Posted by A friend   October 31, 2018

What an example of loving energy and passion for those other than yourself
Thanks for sharing George Taliaferro with us
His energy will be missed
Our Heavenly Father who truly knows our hearts is smiling when he thinks of George
May the hearer of our prayers grant you peace from above

Posted by Jackie - Lithonia, GA   October 22, 2018

May God provide his family and friends with comfort now and in the days ahead.

Posted by Sharlene - TX   October 19, 2018

May God continues to comfort your family in these times. Rest all your cares with Him.RIH Mr.Taliaferro Amen
Karen Bradshaw Buffalo NY,

Posted by - GA   October 18, 2018

May God continues to comfort your family in these times. Rest all your cares with Him.RIH Mr.Taliaferro Amen
Karen Bradshaw Buffalo NY,

Posted by Karen Bradshaw - Buffalo, NewYork, GA   October 18, 2018

I was blessed to meet Mr.George Taliaffero at Stockton University about tens years age. We told stories over lunch. He told about how after his rookie NFL year a friend invited him to spring training at Virginia State. And after a practice to lunch where he met Viola. George said he's been in love from that moment on. At that Stockton University lunch I asked George if he might have know a footballer named Benjamin Whaley. George told the story of how he and Ben were tryout teammates in Los Angeles and that Ben was more than good enough and should have made the team; except that Ben came from the CIAA (Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association) and he Did Not. The story about Ben Whaley was important to me as he was my first coach at Hampton Institute/ University and help to frame my future. George's story about love and marriage was equally important as I've also been so BLESSED! Thank you George Taliaferro - Job Well Done! -
Franklin Ojeda Smith

Posted by Franklin Ojeda Smith - Pomona, NJ - friend   October 18, 2018

He was more than a football star.
From Wikipedia, easily searched and found:
"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]"

His life was more than football and should be honored as well. Rest in Peace.

Posted by Reba Hansen    October 17, 2018

To the Taliaferro Family:

Please accept my condolences. I did not know George personally but as a former athlete, Lawyer and sports journalist keenly aware of his football acumen and character.


James A. Johnson, Esq

Posted by James Johnson - Southfield, MI   October 17, 2018

I only had the honor to meet Mr. Taliaferro once with his daughter Gayle at his home in Cincinnati 2017. He was so welcoming and kind. His mind strong!! I was moved by his humility. Wish I'd taken his autographed book offer, but didn't want to seem like a groupie. Gayle we live and support you! What a great historical legacy. You will always be 1st! 1st quality first in the of those wise enough to love you. Thank you for being a proverbial friend. We will remember you Mr. T and you are in our prayers!!

Posted by Andrea Ellingen - Columbus, OH   October 17, 2018

Posted by Andrea Ellingen - Columbus, OH   October 17, 2018

What an honor to have met him, to have shaken his hand, to have sat quietly listening as he shared his marvelous history. How blessed we were to have known George Teliaferro. My condolences to Vi and the family during this saddened time. Be of strong courage for the Lord is our Light and our Salvation.

Posted by Fred Robinson - Indianapolis, IN   October 16, 2018


Not many men leave an impact like this CHAMPION of a man, he was a trailblazer of HOPE. We should always celebrate his accomplishments and he had many....THANK U...ur light shines forever.....BLESSINGS ❤❤

Posted by Valenda Newell - Indianapolis, IN   October 16, 2018

My condolences to the Taliaferro family I applause all of the path leaders of our race for opening the doors for other I did not know Mr. Taliaferro personally but I have been told of his greatness and I am sure he will be remembered. God Bless you all.

Posted by Bettie Wilson - Gary, IN   October 16, 2018

Thank you for paving the way for so many Mr. Taliaferro. May God bless your family and keep them during this time.

Posted by Brenda Middleton - North Charleston, SC   October 15, 2018

My sympathies to he family soon no more death (1 Corinthians 15:26).

Posted by L T - TX   October 15, 2018

Our deep felt condolences to the Taliaferro family. May Almighty God and his son Jesus Christ bless your family in this time of sorrow. John 17:3

Posted by - GA   October 15, 2018


An Honarable Gentleman, A Great Kappa Man.

Posted by Percy E Jones,Jr - Merrillville, IN   October 14, 2018

I did not know I was walking among such a giant while at IU. Linda, I have you and your family in my prayers. Have peace for you shall see your Dad again when morning comes.

Posted by Gail Bushrod - Evansville, IN   October 14, 2018


Our sincere condolences to Viola and family. We were truly saddened to hear about Georges passing. Sending our love and blessings.

Posted by James & Shirley McGee - Bradenton, FL - friend   October 14, 2018

Amazing human Amazing talent. May the God of comfort be with you and your family-Daniel 12-22

Posted by L M    October 13, 2018

We are sorry to hear of your loss,our
thoughts and prayers are for the family.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted.

Posted by Willie Thomas,Sr. - Starkville, MS   October 13, 2018

I'm am sorry for your lost this is a spicture that will help you coop.Psalm29-11

Posted by Walwyn - Woodbridge   October 13, 2018

October 12, 2018

To The Family of Mr. George Taliaferro:

I will continue to keep you all in my prayers, especially during this difficult time. I am A Member of Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois. Reverend Dr. David B. Thornton is the Pastor.

I am also A Former Member of Church Musician Ship Guild, Inc. (1988-2008). The late Dr. Mildred G. Lewis was The Founder/Executive Director. For your information, I was their Executive Secretary, and Public Relations Director.

With Deepest Sympathy,
Ms. Valinda Jones of Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted by A friend   October 12, 2018

I am so sorry for your loss. May the God who comforts all who mourn, sustain your family during these challenging times.

Posted by thomas brown - flint, MI   October 12, 2018

My condolences are to the family, many, many friends, colleagues and fans of this wonderful nice man Mr. George Taliaferro. May the God of all comfort be with you during this difficult time in your lives because He cares for you. May you find comfort in your wealth of fond memories together. We all look forward to the blessings our impartial God promises us that no one will every look at a person an see the color of their skin. We will enjoy true peace and happiness in a paradise earth. This is a promise from our heavenly Father that will come true soon.

Posted by Pat - MD   October 12, 2018

A great example, trailblazer, devoted spouse, and very talented gentleman. May God bless him & his family. He certainly has a great legacy.

Posted by JeanAnn Lemke - Washington Court House, OH - Acquaintance   October 12, 2018

May God continue to bless your beautiful family. We the Atkins Family & Ramone Atkins in Gary, IN send our heartfelt condolences to each of you. Our ❤ is with you and the love for Mr. George as a #1 QB & #1 Black in NFL is etched in our sons life to follow in his footsteps. His legacy will live on. Thank you for sharing him. From Ramone Atkins & Family. The #1 High School QB State of Indiana on Record 2012 Current- West Side Leadership Academy. Gary IN

Posted by Miss Michele - Gary, IN   October 11, 2018

It was an honor to have known sorry for your loss Vi

Posted by Sharon Gargano - Cinti, OH   October 11, 2018

My deepest sympathies to Vi and the family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Rhonda Van der Dussen - Bloomington, IN - acquaintance   October 11, 2018

Condolences to the family of Mr. George Taliaferro -
He will not be forgotten. Please keep the wonderful memories of him in your hearts and share them with one another especially the younger generation.

Posted by Ann L - NJ   October 11, 2018

RIP, George! Thank you for your on-field skills and above all your courage in the face of difficult social times!

Posted by Bill - Paradise, CA   October 11, 2018

With heartfelt sympathy. May the God of tender mercy grant the family peace and comfort during this time of sorrow (2Cor.1:2-4).

Posted by King family - NC   October 11, 2018

My deepest sympathy to his family. May Almighty God grant you peace as you cope with your loss. Jer. 29:11

Posted by A friend   October 11, 2018

Posted by Carol Stallo - Mason, OH   October 10, 2018


Godspeed George, and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.

Posted by Harry Simpson - Buckeye, AZ   October 10, 2018


Mr. Taliaferro attended Indiana University with my father, Graham Martin. He was a friend of our family. My prayers are with the family. May you find comfort in the dignity and character he showed both on and off the field.

Posted by Elayne Lewis - Indianapolis, IN   October 10, 2018

Mr. George Taliaferro was a pioneer who paved the way for such greats as Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and other trailblazers into American sports. What a legacy for his family to cherish. My condolences for your great loss.

Posted by C. L. - Lawrenceville, GA   October 10, 2018


Posted by Joan Walton - Columbus, GA   October 10, 2018

George was a very honorable man. The world could use more like him.

Posted by Michael Robinson - Bloomington, IN - friend   October 10, 2018

What a Great Man! My condolences to the family and may the Angel of comfort, hold and keep you in these hard times.
Landon Turner

Posted by Landon Turner - Indianapolis, IN   October 10, 2018

We are truly sorry for your loss. Growing up in that time period must have been very stressful for many. Mr.Taliaferro set a good example by not retaliating against those who showed opposition. Notice what it says here in Romans 12:17,18 17Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. 18If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men.

Posted by Ri Monroe - Palmdale, CA   October 10, 2018

may you take comfort in the fact that god will make you firm and he will make you strong in your time of sorrow

Posted by A friend   October 10, 2018

My sincere condolences to the family for the loss of your loved one. He had a memorable career that he was very proud of. May the many memories you shared and words at John 11:43,44 from the Almight Jah comfort you during this difficult time.

Posted by Yevette - CA   October 10, 2018


Posted by A friend   October 10, 2018

May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

Posted by A friend   October 10, 2018

I would like to express my deepest sympathies for the loss of your loved one, who will be remembered for his athletic ability and leaving his mark in history. May you find comfort and help in God during this time of mourning.

Posted by - Bear, DE   October 10, 2018

My Late Grand'father spoke highly of Mr.T
he excelled in many facets of life -

Posted by Thomas Aubrey - Lehigh Acres, FL   October 10, 2018


Posted by Ann Stokman - Greenfield, WI   October 10, 2018

All American football fans salute this brave pioneer in our favorite sport. And, we extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by George Bond - Massillon, OH   October 09, 2018

George Taliaferro may have played Seven positions in each game, multi-tasking most skillfully. His prowess, tenacity, dexterity and endurance were unmatched. Psalms 62:11,12.

Posted by A friend   October 09, 2018

My condolences to the family of this brave man. Not only did he accomplish so much on the field, it was his determination and perseverance off the field that made him so unique. May those mourning find comfort in each other and in God during this difficult time.

Posted by A friend   October 09, 2018

My condolences go out to the family and friends of this wonderful man, he lived a long and fruitful life. I will miss you George, and May the good Lord be with you.

Posted by Dennis Tompkins - Virginia Beach, VA   October 09, 2018

Thank you Mr.Taliaferro for your Service and your Trail Blazing.Being a Blackman in this Country we need more Hero's like you. God Bless You and your Family

Posted by leroy huff - Athens, GA   October 09, 2018

Condolences to the entire family. May the sadness which you experience now be comforted by great fond memories. May the loyal love of Almighty God be with you all. Warm Christian Love!!

Posted by Olevia    October 09, 2018

I am so very sorry for your loss. George was a wonderful man, and it was my pleasure to get to know him. My parents really enjoyed sharing meals with him and Vi while they lived at the Barrington. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Posted by Diane Kohne Bellard - Mason, OH   October 09, 2018

Family Album

George Taliaferro