Ret. Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page was born in Canton, Ohio and worked during his youth to help lay the foundation for the Pro Football Hall of Fame building in his hometown.
Page frequently credits a different type of foundation — his parents’ emphasis on education — with his successes. When Page was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988, he launched the Page Education Foundation which has raised and donated more than $13 million to provide scholarships to more than 6,500 Minnesota students of color.
Page emphasizes the importance of education and aiming for the highest possible marks in school because of the potential opportunities that can follow.
“Long before I was a football player, I was a person,” Page told young people at a Black History Month event hosted by the Vikings earlier this month. “I was fortunate to have parents that understood if I was going to have a better life than they had, then I had to prepare myself and do it in a way that was above and beyond what the ordinary person does.”
Page pointed out to the young people that football doesn’t last forever, so there’s a need to know what to do after football. He also told them that education helped his football career.
A member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, as well as the Vikings Ring of Honor, Page recalled a teammate in Chicago who was fast but took a bad angle on a punt return, allowing a touchdown to occur.
“Being educated made me better as a player, helped me better understand what my responsibilities were and how to go about carrying them out,” Page told the young people. “Elements of the game of football include physics, math and geometry.”