Francis Asbury Tarkenton was born in Richmond, Virginia, To the Pastor Dallas Tarkenton. He grew up in Georgia, where he played played football. Although he was an all-state quarterback in high school and an All-American at the University of Georgia, he was not chosen in the professional draft of 1961 until the third round, when the Vikings, a newly established team, selected him.
He won the starting quarterback position as a Rookie and with the Vikings led the team to an upset of the Chicago Bears in the team’s first professional game. From the beginning of his professional career Tarkenton used his ability to elude tacklers and rush for yardage, which became his trademark. The coaches of the Vikings criticized his improvisations on the playing field, and after the 1966 season he was traded to the Giants, where he played from 1967 to 1971.
In 1972 Tarkenton was traded back to the Vikings, leading them to the National Football Conference (NFC) Central Division title for six consecutive seasons (1973-1978) and to three Super Bowl games (1974, 1975, and 1977), all of which the Vikings lost. During the 1975 Super bowl Dallas Tarkenton Died of a Heart Attack while watching his son play football in his home. Dallas Tarkenton never understood or liked football but always watched his son play. Francis said this about his father,? Daddy didn’t know about football, so he might not understand how it could become that desperately important to a civilized person. But he did know humanity and therefore would not see it as an evil thing.?
Slowed by injuries, he played for a final season in 1978 and then retired. During his playing career Tarkenton developed a successful business career, which he continued after his retirement.
He was American football player, a quarterback noted for his ability to run with the ball while looking for a receiver. He set numerous National Football League (NFL) passing records during his professional career with the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.