Page graduated from Central Catholic High School, in Canton, Ohio, in 1963. 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 in which he would one day be enshrined.
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.
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. 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).
"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. He is one of 11 players to have played for the Vikings in all four Super Bowls in which they appeared.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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. After graduating, he worked at the Minneapolis law firm Lindquist and Vennum from 1979 to 1984 outside the football season. Page was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General in 1985, and 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 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 the end of the month in which they turn 70.
In 1988 Page and his wife Diane founded the Page Education Foundation. The 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. The Page Education Foundation has awarded grants to more than 6,000 students, who in turn have given more than 400,000 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.
Page and his daughter Kamie Page have written two children's books, Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky (2013) and The Invisible You (2014). Proceeds from the sales of these books support the Page Education Foundation .
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. 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.
Page owns an extensive collection of Jim Crow-related memorabilia. He appeared in a 2012 Minnesota-filmed episode of PBS's Antiques Roadshow with an 1865 banner mourning the death of Abraham Lincoln. He also owns two antique cars, a 1906 Buick Model F and a 1910 Buick Model 10 Toy Tonneau. He enjoys making Pages' Lake Washburn Maple Syrup at the cabin each spring.
2015—Lifetime Leadership Award, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services 2015—Earl Larson Award, American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota 2015—Education IMPACTOR! Award, We IMPACT! 2015—Excellence in Diversity Award, Ramsey County Bar Association Diversity Committee 2015—Law Day Dinner Honoree, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid 2015—Outstanding Service to the Profession, Minnesota Lawyer 2014—Top Attorney of the Year 2014, Minnesota Lawyer 2013—Pursuit of Justice Award Co-Recipient, 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  2006—Receive the St. Paul Urban League "Willie Mae Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award" 2006—Minnesota MILE (Motivating & Inspiring Leadership and Excellence) "Extra Mile Award" 2005—National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award 2004—Theodore 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 1999—Sports 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"