Alan C. Page was born in 1945 in Canton, Ohio. He graduated from Canton Central Catholic High School and went on to earn a B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978.
After graduating from the U, Page worked as an attorney for a Minneapolis law firm, then served seven years as an attorney in the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.
He sought election to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992 and won, becoming the first African American on the court and one of the few associate justices to join the court initially through election, rather than gubernatorial appointment. When Justice Page was reelected in 1998, he became the biggest votegetter in Minnesota history. He was reelected in 2004 and 2010 and retired at age 70 in 2015.
Page served as a U of M Regent from 1989 to 1993. In 2017, the U Law School awarded him the Polaris Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work toward equity, diversity, and justice.
Law was Page’s second career. He was first known for his skills in football both in college and the NFL. At Notre Dame, Page led the school’s football program to a 1966 national championship and in 1993, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
He was a first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 1967 and played for the team until 1978, spending the last three years of his football career with the Chicago Bears. He played in 218 consecutive games, earned All-Pro honors six times, and was voted to nine consecutive Pro Bowls. In 1971, he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, the second defensive player in history to earn the honor. In 1988, Page was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Also in 1988, Justice Page and his wife Diane founded the Page Education Foundation, which helps Minnesota students of color pursue postsecondary education. To date, the foundation has awarded $14 million in grants to 6,750 students.
Justice Page and his daughter, Kamie Page, have written three children’s books: The Invisible You (2014), Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky (2013), and Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack (2017).
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