President Trump Honors Judge Alan Page with Medal of Freedom

U.S. President Donald Trump and Alan Page
U.S. President Donald Trump presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and college football player Alan Page November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football star Alan Page, 73, on Friday, and the honor comes less than two months after the death of his wife.

In an emotional ceremony at the White House, Trump said his wife, Diane, who died in September of breast cancer, “is looking down on you right now and she is so proud with love.’’

Page, the first Black justice to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court (1993-2016), said in a phone interview when asked about Trump’s statement: “I envisioned the whole time holding Diane’s hand. The whole thing was emotional for that reason.”

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As a defensive tackle, Judge Page played in the NFL from 1967-81 — with the Vikings, Packers, Bears, and Cowboys. He was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988.

On receiving the nation’s highest honor for a civilian, he explained to ABC that “In the end, it isn’t about me…It’s about my ancestors who came to this country in the belly of slave ships. It’s about those civil rights people who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”


15 of Page’s relatives reportedly attended the ceremony, including three of his four children. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. was also on hand as Page credits her for nominating him for the medal.

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“I thought it went well,’’ he said. “It was interesting to me that in the final analysis being on stage with the other recipients, you sort of figure out we’re all just people trying to live our lives and it was from that standpoint that it felt good.’’

Page was one of seven recipients, including fellow sports legends Babe Ruth and Roger Staubach. The others were Elvis Presley, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah and philanthropist/Republican Party donor Miriam Adelson.