Francis Asbury Tarkenton (born February 3, 1940) is an American former football player who was a quarterback for the University of Georgia and, subsequently, in the National Football League (NFL). He played in the NFL for 18 seasons, spending the majority of his career with the Minnesota Vikings. After retiring from football, he became a television personality and computer software executive.
Tarkenton’s tenure with the Vikings spanned thirteen non-consecutive seasons, playing with the team for six seasons from 1961 to 1966, then for seven seasons from 1972 to 1978. In between his years in Minnesota, Tarkenton was a member of the New York Giants for five seasons. At the time of his retirement, Tarkenton owned every major quarterback record. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
In addition to his football career, Tarkenton served as a commentator on Monday Night Football and a co-host of That’s Incredible!. He also founded Tarkenton Software, a computer-program generator company, and he toured the U.S. promoting CASE (computer-aided software engineering) with Albert F. Case Jr. of Nastec Corporation. Tarkenton Software later merged with KnowledgeWare (with Tarkenton as president), until selling the company to Sterling Software in 1994.