American Football Database

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Alan Page
No. 88     
Defensive Tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1945-08-07) August 7, 1945 (age 76)
Place of birth: Canton, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
College: Notre Dame
NFL Draft: 1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 15
Debuted in 1967 for the Minnesota Vikings
Last played in 1981 for the Chicago Bears
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Sacks     173
Interceptions     2
Safeties     3
Stats at
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

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


High school life

Page graduated from Central Catholic High School, in Canton, Ohio, in 1964. He starred in several sports and excelled in football. Page also worked on a construction team that erected the Pro Football Hall of Fame, laying the groundwork for the building where he would one day be immortalized.


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

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

In 1967, Page participated in the East-West Shrine Game and 25 years later received the "Babe Hollingbery" Award for his 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 earn a varsity letter for athletics and who ultimately become distinguished citizens of national reputation.

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

NFL player

"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

After graduating from Notre Dame, Page was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, for whom he played from 1967 until 1978. In 1978, 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, placing 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 and one league championship. Page was a member of the Vikings' "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 with 18 sacks in 1976 and is unofficially credited with five other seasons of 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. He was voted All-Conference 11 times, in 1968 and 1969 as All-Western Conference and in 1970 through 1977 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. Only one other defensive player has ever received the award. In addition, he was voted the NEA NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1973.

NFL player representative

Page was National Football League Players Association player representative, from 1970 to 1974 and in 1976–1977, and a member of the NFLPA Association Executive Committee from 1972 to 1975. He was 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 in 1982-83.

Legal career

Long before Page’s football career came to a close, he was laying the groundwork for his future role as a justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. While still playing for the Vikings, Page attended the University of Minnesota Law School, from which he received a Juris Doctor in 1978. Following graduation, he worked with the law firm 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 reelected in 1998 (becoming the biggest vote-getter in Minnesota history), again in 2004, and for a final time in 2010: 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 that heard the election contest brought by Norm Coleman in the 2008 U.S. Senate election.[5]


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 May 2012 the Page Foundation has awarded grants to 5,000 students, who in turn have given over 350,000 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, Page has volunteered to be a "reading buddy" in the Everybody Wins reading program at a local elementary school.

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.

Page has a passion for running and runs on a regular basis. In 1979 he 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 of Page titled All Rise, The Remarkable Journey of Alan Page.

In 2013, Page and his daughter Kamie Page wrote a children's book, Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky. Proceeds from the sale of this book help support the Page Education Foundation.


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

Honorary degrees

Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters: Winston-Salem State University, 2000; Gustavus Adolphus College, 2003; University of Notre Dame, 2004; Duke University, 2011.

Honorary Doctorate of Laws: University of Notre Dame, 1993; St. John's University, 1994; Westfield State College, 1994; Luther College, 1995; University of New Haven, 1999.

Post NFL awards

2013—Pursuit of Justice Award, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association
2011—Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division, American Bar Association
2011—James V. Day "Good Guy" Award, The American Legion
2011—Legacy Award, The Pan African Community Endowment
2010—#43 in the NFL's Top 100 Greatest Players
2010—Player of the Franchise, Minnesota Vikings, St. Paul Pioneer Press
2009—Reatha Clark King Award for Excellence and Youth Motivation through the Cultural Arts
2007—The Bronko Nagurski Legends Award by Charlotte Touchdown Club
2007—Council on Crime and Justice "Equal Justice Award"
2007—University of Minnesota African American "Read-In Program Award"
2007—Included in Minnesota’s Legal Hall of Fame, Minnesota Law & Politics
2007—Trumpet Awards Foundation Honoree [1]
2006—Receive the St. Paul Urban League "Willie Mae Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award"
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
1999Sports Illustrated's "The 50 Greatest Sports Figures from Ohio"
1999—Star Tribune's "100 Influential Minnesotans of the Century"
1999—Star Tribune's "100 Most Important Sports Figures of the Century"

1995NFL Alumni Career Achievement Award.
1994Aetna Voice of Conscience Arthur Ashe Jr. Achiever Award
1993—WCCO Radio Distinguished Good Neighbor Award
1993—Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame
1993—East-West Game “Babe Hollingbery” Award
1992Silver 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
1991National Education Association "Friend of Education" Award
1990—Inducted into the Nike Walk of Fame
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

  • 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

See also

Most consecutive starts (NFL)


  5. "Top justice won't pick Minn. Senate lawsuit judges". Minnesota Public Radio. January 7, 2009. Retrieved 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 January 1, 2011.

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Lawrence R. Yetka
Associate Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court
Succeeded by