Born on January 8, 1927
Gates, TN
October 8, 2018.
Inducted On
May 16, 1976
Location Inducted
East Chicago, IN
Region Number
Gary Roosevelt
Gary Roosevelt
President of sophomore and senior classes; member of student senate, Drama Club, and Boys Glee Club; captain of football, basketball, and track teams.
Indiana University; Howard University MS
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.
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; the George Taliaferro Plaza, along with a bronze statue, were dedicated in his honor by Indiana University November 1, 2019 located just outside the North End Zone at Memorial Stadium.
Wife, Viola; children, Linda Diane, Renee Angela, Donna Marie, and Terri Virnater.
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.