George Taliaferro


School of Public Health W.W. Patty Distinguished Service Award (2013)
Distinguished Alumni Service Award (2006)
B.S., 1951
Z.G. Clevenger Award (1998)
B.S., 1951
IUB Athletics Hall of Fame (1992)


As the leading rusher, George Taliaferro helped lead the 1945 IU football team to the only undefeated Big Ten championship in IU football history. He was the first African American player to be drafted by the National Football League. Taliaferro earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from IU in 1951. He later served as dean of students at Morgan State University, and as special assistant to the IU president, the IUPUI chancellor and the dean of the School of Social Work. He had a distinctive career in the field of social work, fought to overcome discrimination against minorities, and was a founder of the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club.

George won football letters in 1945, 1947 and 1948, was IU's Most Valuable Player in 1948, was first team All-Big Ten in 1945 and 1948, and made at least one All-American team in 1945, 1947 and 1948. He led IU in rushing in 1945 and 1948, and in passing in 1948, led the team in punting in 1945, 1947 and 1948, and was one of the leaders of the 1945 team that went undefeated and won the Big Ten Championship. He played in the College All-Star game in 1949. George played professional football. George returned to IU to work as assistant to the President of Indiana University and was a member of National Football Foundation Collegiate Hall of Fame.