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Alan Page

Alan Page

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famer

Born: Canton, OH, United States
Heritage: African American

Treat your fellow students with respect, work hard in school and prepare yourself so you can achieve your hopes and dreams. For the future. When you see someone less fortunate than you are, reach out and give them a hand. How you travel your life journey will determine how successful you will be in the end.

Alan Page

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famer

My name is Alan Page. I am 61 years old. I was born on August 7, 1945. I am the youngest of four Page children. I grew up in Canton, Ohio. My mother worked in a country club as a locker room attendant and my father fixed and maintained jukeboxes.

As a child I felt a lot of love from my mother, father, brother and sisters. My parents felt strongly about education and encouraged us to work hard in school. They made sure we did our homework assignments. My parents expected us to be good citizens. My parents stressed that you could be as good as you can be at whatever it is you do. Whether is was cleaning my room, which I wasn’t good at, or washing dishes, which I didn’t like to do, or playing tag with my friends, they wanted me to seek excellence.

For the most part I was a decent student, though I have to admit I didn’t work as hard as I could have in school. My mother made me take piano lessons, which was difficult. I played the tuba in the band and by ninth grade I tried out for football. There were no ice rinks in Canton, so I didn’t play hockey. I was too clumsy for basketball and too scared of a baseball, but when it came to football I had an aptitude for it.

At the end of high school I was fortunate enough to be given an athletic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame to play football. While attending Notre Dame I played on one national championship team in 1966. When I grew up I wanted to be a lawyer. I graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in political science. In 1967 I was drafted, not to fight in the Vietnam War, but to play football with the Minnesota Vikings. I continued my journey of becoming a lawyer. During my second year with the Vikings, I enrolled at William Mitchell Law School. Within two weeks I dropped out. I was lost and not sure what my career would be when football ended.

I continued to play professional football and went back to law school at the University of Minnesota in 1975. This time I graduated. I had to take the bar exam two times before I passed. In 1981, after playing for 15 years, my football career came to an end. From football I learned that winning is important but it’s not everything.

I have practiced law since 1981. I worked for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office for eight years and was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992. My goal as a Supreme Court Justice is to write decisions that people can understand. It has been challenging and fascinating and has forced me to extend myself.

Today, I have a wife who has allowed me to grow and develop into somebody that I otherwise would not have been. I have a son and daughter from my second wife and two daughters from my first marriage. I have started an education foundation to assist young people of color to go beyond high school. The goal of the Page Scholars is to use education as a tool to better their lives and give back to their communities.

Notation: Download PDF

The Things That Matter Most To Me In Life

Honoring Alan Page

The Things That Matter Most To Me In Life
Honoring Alan Page

The things that matter most to me in life
Are each of my children, my family and wife

My name is Alan Page
I grew up in Canton,
Ohio a football town
Too clumsy to play basketball
Nor pitch from a pitching mound
When it came to football
I had an aptitude for it
Instead of working in a steel mill
I got a football scholarship
My name is Alan Page
My parents felt strongly
‘Bout education, encouraged me
To do my homework
To be the best I can be
To treat other people fairly
To be honest, to show respect
Even through times of hardship
They taught me excellence
My name is Alan Page
I played the tuba
In the band a sousaphone
Part of that I was big enough
All I played was ‘umph-pah-pah’
Mother made me take piano lessons
For me it was really hard
My first memory was sitting
On Father’s lap driving his car
My name is Alan Page
On a couple occasions
Didn’t know what I wanted to do
I said, “I want to be a lawyer.”
Like Perry Mason on the TV tube
At first I chased the money
Later found it a waste of time
It’s the journey not the destination
Lift up those left behind
My name is Alan Page
I played for the Vikings
Four times in the Super Bowl
What I love most about football
Are the friends I got to know
Like Jim Marshall, like Carl Eller,
Like Paul Krause, like Clinton Jones
But none compares to the woman
I married thirty-three years ago
My name is Alan Page
I studied law
Didn’t pass the first bar exam
The second time I learned to study
It made me better in the end
To win is important
As it is to learn to lose
Striving to be good
At everything you do
My name is Alan Page
Your Supreme Court Justice
By your questions I would say
Each of you has a bright future
You impress me in so many ways
Respect yourself and each other
Prepare yourself to hope and dream
Give a hand to those less fortunate
Lift up your community

Music by Larry Long
Words by with Jeni Belvedere & Tammy Treiber’s 3rd grade class of Eisenhower Elementary School. Hopkins, Minnesota

© Larry Long 2006 / BMI