Alan Page
Page with Minnesota Vikings, 1972
Personal Information
Defensive Tackle
Jersey #(s)
Born: August 7 1945 (1945-08-07) (age 74) in Canton, Ohio, U.S., in
Died: , in
Career information
Year(s) 19671981
NFL Draft 1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15
NFL Supplemental Draft / Pick:
College Notre Dame
Professional teams
Career stats
Sacks 148½
Interceptions 2
Safeties 3
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Alan Cedric Page (born August 7, 1945 in Canton, Ohio) is an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1963, received his B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame in 1967, and received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978. Page is particularly notable for the fact that he is both a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and an Associate Justice with the Minnesota Supreme Court. Page is married to Diane Sims Page and is the father of four children, Nina, Georgi, Justin and Kamie.


High school Edit

Page attended and graduated from Canton (OH) Central Catholic High School in 1964. He starred in several sports and excelled in football.


Following high school, Page attended the University of Notre Dame, where he led the school’s storied football program to a national championship in 1966. That same year, Page was named a college football All-American for his achievements on the field.

He was presented with one of the 1992 NCAA Silver Anniversary Awards for achieving personal distinction since his graduation. In 2005, he was awarded the National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award. In between he was inducted into College Football Hall of Fame (1993).

In 1967, Page participated in the East-West Shrine Game and 25 years later received the "Babe Hollingbery" Award for his outstanding and lasting performance as he was inducted to that game's Hall of Fame. Named to the Academic All-American Hall of Fame in 2001 and as such received the Dick Enberg Award. Also a winner of the Walter Camp Alumni of the Year in 1988.[1] In 2002, he was inducted into International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame. He was the 2004 winner of the Theodore Roosevelt Award (NCAA), which is awarded to graduates from an NCAA institution who earned a varsity letter for athletics and who ultimately became a distinguished citizen of national reputation.

A bronze bust of Page is on the just-completed Pro Football Hall of Fame themed gate within Notre Dame Stadium (Gate C).

NFL playerEdit

"The lessons that I learned from professional football were many: hard work, discipline, focus, the ability to analyze a problem and work through it. To accept that you don't always win and when you do win that doesn't change who you are." Alan C. Page, 2005

Following his graduation from Notre Dame, Page was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, for whom he played from 1967 until 1978. In 1978, as a free agent, Page joined the Chicago Bears, with whom he played through the 1981 season and where he amassed 40 of his career sacks.

As a right defensive tackle, he had an unusual 3-point stance in placing down his left rather than his right hand on the ground. During Page’s 15-year NFL-tenure, the Vikings won an impressive four conference titles. Page was a member of the Vikings famous "Purple People Eaters", a defensive line adept at sacking or hurrying the quarterback. Page played in 218 consecutive games without an absence (215 consecutive in the starting line-up), during which he recovered 22 fumbles, made 148½ sacks (Vikings-108½,[2] Bears-40), and scored three touchdowns (two on fumble recoveries and one on an interception return). He also had three safeties, the second most in NFL history. He set a career-high in sacks with 18 in 1976 and is unofficially credited with 5 other seasons with 10 sacks or more.[3][4]

While in the NFL, Page earned All-Pro honors six times and made second-team all-league three additional times. He was voted to nine consecutive Pro Bowls. Eleven times he was voted All-Conference, in 1968 and 1969 as All-Western Conference and 1970 through 77 and 1980 as an All-National Football Conference.

In 1971, Page was named both the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (the first player to be named such) and the AP’s NFL Most Valuable Player. Page was the first defensive player to be named MVP since the award’s inception. In addition, he was voted the NEA NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1973.

NFL player representativeEdit

Page was National Football League Players Association player representative, 1970–1974, 1976–1977, and a member of the NFLPA Association Executive Committee, 1972-1975. Named to the Vikings' 40th Anniversary Team in 2000. Along the way, Page was named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Week three times: Week 9, 1967; Week 8, 1968; Week 13, 1971. In 1988, Page was further honored by his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1999, he was ranked number 34 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, the highest-ranking Viking player. He received the NFL Alumni Career Achievement Award in 1995 for attaining success in his post-NFL career.


After his playing career he dabbled in the media, first as a color commentator on Turner Broadcasting System covering the College Football Game of the Week series during the Fall of 1982 and then as a commentator on National Public Radio from 1982-83.

Legal/Judicial careerEdit

Long before Page’s football career came to a close, he was laying the groundwork for his future role as a justice with the Minnesota Supreme Court. While still playing for the Vikings, Page attended the University of Minnesota Law School, from which he received his Juris Doctor in 1978. Following graduation, he worked with the law firm of Lindquist and Vennum in Minneapolis from 1979 to 1984 outside the football season. In 1985, Page was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General, and was soon thereafter promoted to Assistant Attorney General.

In 1992, Page was elected to an open seat as an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, becoming the first African-American to ever serve on that court. He was re-elected in 1998, becoming the biggest vote-getter in Minnesota history, and was again re-elected in 2004. Page was re-elected again in 2010, to what will necessarily be his last term, as Minnesota has mandatory retirement for judges at age 70.

On January 7, 2009, Page was appointed by Chief Justice Eric Magnuson to select the three-judge panel which heard the election contest brought by Norm Coleman. Coleman contested the U.S. Senate election certified on the previous day.[5]

Community involvements Edit

In 1988, Page and his wife Diane founded the Page Education Foundation. That Foundation provides much-needed financial and mentoring assistance to students of color, in exchange for those students’ commitment to further volunteer service in the community. As of June 2010, the Page Foundation has awarded grants to 4,500 students, who in turn have given over 300,000 hours of their own time to young children. Upon his retirement from the bench, Justice Page hopes to become a public school teacher, so that he might make an even more personal impact on the children the Foundation has served.

Since 1996, Justice Page has volunteered to be a "reading buddy" in the Everybody Wins reading program at a local elementary school.

Justice Page’s contributions to the community have not gone unnoticed, and he has been the recipient of a number of awards recognizing the impact he has made on the lives of children throughout the nation. He has also received Honorary Doctorates in Humane Letters from the University of Notre Dame, Winston-Salem State University, and Gustavus Adolphus College, as well as Honorary Doctorates of Laws from the University of Notre Dame, St. John’s University, Westfield State College, Luther College, and the University of New Haven.

On a more personal note, Justice Page has a passion for running and runs on a regular basis. Notably, in 1979, Page became the first active NFL player to complete a marathon. His running routine, which he took up while helping his wife quit smoking, is believed to have contributed to his dismissal from the Minnesota Vikings. His running schedule of 35–40 miles per week during the season, and 55 miles per week in the offseason, caused his weight to drop below that dictated by the Vikings.[6] He ran the Ultimate Runner (mile, 10K, 100, 400, 800, marathon all in one day). In 1987, he completed the Edmund Fitzgerald 100k Road Race in Duluth, Minnesota. Page is a regular spectator at the Twin Cities Marathon, famous for playing the sousaphone near mile 3.

In 2010, Bill McGrane wrote a biography about Justice Page entitled All Rise, The Remarkable Journey of Alan Page.


Page also owns an extensive collection of Jim Crow-related memorabilia, which was described in detail in a Minneapolis Star Tribune article.[7]

Honorary degrees Edit

Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters:

Honorary Doctorate of Laws:

  • University of Notre Dame, 1993
  • St. John's University (Jamaica, NY, 1994
  • Westfield State College, 1994
  • Luther College (Iowa)|Luther College, 1995;
  • University of New Haven, 1999

Post NFL awards Edit

  • 2011—Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division, American Bar Association</br>
  • 2011—James V. Day "Good Guy" Award, The American Legion</br>
  • 2011—Legacy Award, The Pan African Community Endowment</br>
  • 2010—#43 in the NFL's Top 100 Greatest Players</br>
  • 2010—Player of the Franchise, Minnesota Vikings, St. Paul Pioneer Press</br>
  • 2009—Reatha Clark King Award for Excellence and Youth Motivation through the Cultural Arts</br>
  • 2007—The Bronko Nagurski Legends Award by Charlotte Touchdown Club</br>
  • 2007—Council on Crime and Justice "Equal Justice Award"</br>
  • 2007—University of Minnesota African American "Read-In Program Award"</br>
  • 2007—Included in Minnesota’s Legal Hall of Fame, Minnesota Law & Politics</br>
  • 2007—Trumpet Awards Foundation Honoree [1]</br>
  • 2006—Receive the St. Paul Urban League "Willie Mae Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award" </br>
  • 2006—Minnesota MILE (Motivating & Inspiring Leadership and Excellence) "Extra Mile Award"
  • 2005National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award
  • 2004Theodore Roosevelt Award (NCAA)
  • 2003—Scholarship America President’s Award
  • 2002—Inducted into International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame
  • 2001—Minnesota Business Partnership “Connecting With Youth Lifetime Achievement Award”
  • 2001—Academic All-American Hall of Fame, 2001 Dick Enberg Award
  • 2001—University of Minnesota Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 1999—Sports Illustrated's "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures from Ohio"</br>
  • 1999—Star Tribune's "100 Influential Minnesotans of the Century"</br>
  • 1999—Star Tribune's "100 Most Important Sports Figures of the Century"
  • 1995NFL Alumni Career Achievement Award.
  • 1994—Aetna Voice of Conscience Arthur Ashe Jr. Achiever Award </br>
  • 1993—WCCO Radio Distinguished Good Neighbor Award
  • 1993—Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame
  • 1993—East-West Game “Babe Hollingbery” Award
  • 1992—Silver Anniversary Awards (NCAA)
  • 1992—U.S. Sports Academy Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Service Award
  • 1992—Notre Dame Alumni "Reverend Edward Frederick Sorin, C.S.C." Award
  • 1991—Inducted into Chicago's Inner City Sports Hall of Fame
  • 1991—National Education Association "Friend of Education" Award
  • 1990—Inducted into the Nike Walk of Fame</br>
  • 1989—Dedicated “Alan Page Drive” in Canton, Ohio
  • 1988Walter Camp Alumni of the Year Award
  • 1988—Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton, Ohio
  • 1981—Selected by U.S. Jaycees as one of America's Ten Outstanding Young Men

Professional organizations Edit

  • Member, American Law Institute, 1993–present
  • Member, Minnesota State Bar Association, 1979–1985, 1990–present
  • Member, Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, 1980–present
  • Member, National Bar Association, 1979–present
  • Member, American Bar Association, 1979–present
  • Member, Advisory Board, Mixed Blood Theater, 1984–present
  • Founder, Page Education Foundation, 1988. Assists minority youth with post-secondary education.
  • Member, Board of Regents, University of Minnesota, 1989–1993
  • Helped establish Kodak/Alan Page Challenge, a nationwide essay contest encouraging urban youth to recognize the value of education.
  • Member, Institute of Bill of Rights Law Task Force on Drug Testing in the Workplace, 1990–1991
  • Board of Directors, Minneapolis Urban League, 1987–1990

Notes Edit

  • In 1979 Page became the first active NFL player to finish a marathon. His best marathon time was 3:27:50
  • In 1987 he completed Edmund Fitzgerald 100 km (62.1 mile) race
  • As a result of his long distance running, Page played his last 5 NFL seasons at 225 pounds.
  • He is the only person in NFL history to have both worked on the construction of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and inducted into the Hall of Fame.

References Edit

  5. Top justice won't pick Minn. Senate lawsuit judges. Minnesota Public Radio (January 7, 2009). Retrieved on January 7, 2009.
  6. Martz, Ron. "A lineman who runs and runs". St. Petersburg Times. Oct 22, 1978
  7. Ward, Bill (August 3, 2007). Going on the offensive. Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved on January 1, 2011.

External linksEdit

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