Indiana University paid tribute to IU football legend George Taliaferro, who passed away in October.
A 1981 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Taliaferro was a three-time All-American at IU who was the leading rusher on IU's 1945 Big Ten Championship team that went 9-0-1, the only undefeated football team in school history. During his four years in Bloomington, he led IU in rushing twice and passing once. He was selected in the 13th round of the 1949 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears, making him the first African-American drafted by an NFL team.
While that was a landmark national event for professional football, Taliaferro also had a significant impact locally, both as an undergraduate student in an era when the campus and the city of Bloomington were segregated, and later as a longtime university staff member.
After his playing days ended, Taliaferro earned a master's degree at Howard University. He taught at the University of Maryland and served as dean of students at Morgan State University before he and his wife, Viola, returned to Bloomington. Taliaferro then spent two decades serving his alma mater in a number of capacities, including as a special assistant to the president, the IUPUI chancellor and the dean of the School of Social Work.