Francis Asbury Tarkenton was born on February 3, 1940 in Richmond, Virginia. Fran, as he was referred to throughout his NFL career, joined the Minnesota Vikings as a quarterback in 1961, moved on to play for the New York Giants from 1967-1971, and then returned to the Vikings from 1972-1978.
In 1961, Tarkenton signed with the Vikings and played his first NFL game against the Chicago Bears. He led the Vikings to a victory by passing for 250 yards and four touchdown passes. Fran is the only player in NFL history to pass for four touchdowns in his first NFL game. In Tarkenton's final seven years with the Vikings, he led Minnesota to six NFC Central Division titles and three Super Bowl appearances. He was named first or second-team All-NFL three times and was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls during his career.
In 1967, Tarkenton was traded to the New York Giants for five seasons. In 1969, the Giants played against the Vikings and Tarkenton threw two touchdown passes to secure a 24-23 victory over his former team. In his 18 NFL seasons, Tarkenton completed 3,686 pass completions, 47,003 passing yards and 342 touchdowns with 266 interceptions. Tarkenton's 47,003 career passing yards rank him 6th all time, and his 342 career passing touchdowns is ranked 4th in NFL history. Tarkenton was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.