Inducted: May 16, 1976 in East Chicago, IN
Date of Birth: January 8, 1927 in Gates, TN
High School Attended: Gary Roosevelt Graduated: 1945
High School Honors: President of sophomore and senior classes; member of student senate, Drama Club, and Boys Glee Club; captain of football, basketball, and track teams.
College Attended: Indiana University Graduated: 1949
College Honors: Member of 1945 Big Ten Football Champions; halfback 1st team All-State; All-Big 10, All-Midwest, 2nd Team All-American; 1947 1st Team All-State, All-Midwest; 2nd Team All-American; 1948 1st team All-State, All-Big 10, All-Midwest, All-American; IU Most Valuable Player 1948; 1949 member of College All-Stars Football Team; member of first team "All Times;" 1946 Armed Service Captain of the Ft. Lee, VA, football team; All-Service Halfback.
Professional Athletic Background: Became first black player drafted in the NFL when picked by the Chicago Bears in the 13th round 1949; opted to honor contract with the Los Angeles Dons 1949 and was Rookie of the Year in All-American Football Conference; played for New York Yanks 1950-1951, for Dallas Texans 1952, for Baltimore Colts 1953-1954, and for Philadelphia Eagles 1955; became first black quarterback in the NFL 1953; selected as each team's most outstanding offensive back by the Yanks, Texans, and Colts; named to 3 straight Pro Bowls 1951, 1952, 1953.
Coaching Experience: After retiring from the NFL in 1956, became an unpaid assistant coach for 13 years at Morgan State College under head coach Earl Banks.
Special Recognition: Served as Dean of Students at Morgan State 2 years; in 1972, became special assistant to President John W. Ryan at IU to develop/implement equal opportunity policies and programs for all IU campuses; involved with Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA); inducted into College Football Hall of Fame 1981; awarded National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's prestigious Distinguished American Award February 26, 2011; Sagamore of Wabash recipient August 3, 2012.
Family: Wife, Viola; children, Linda Diane, Renee Angela, Donna Marie, and Terri Virnater.