The former Minnesota Viking and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page will receive the highest honor a civilian can receive, the Presidental Medal of Freedom.

Page was part of the Vikings defensive line tabbed the "Purple People Eaters" and was the first defensive player to win the NFL MVP award back in 1971. His elite-level of play then transferred to the law, where he was the first African-American to serve on the state's highest court.

Page described receiving the award quite the honor when he talked with the Star Tribune.

“The politics of this are somebody else’s problem,” he said to the Star Tribune. “We live in a time when people would like to shed more heat than light, and I am more interested in shedding light. ... This is about the things I believe in and the things I have worked for. It is quite the honor.”

Page has done numerous things for the community and does a lot of education. In doing so, he even had an elementary school change the name of the school to match his, in his honor.

“My goal for the longest time has been to try and figure out how to make this world a better place,” Page said to the Star Tribune. “And I think that by receiving this honor, it can help with that goal. We live in troubling times, but we all have to figure out how to live and work together.”

I did a History Day project on Alan Page back in the early 2000's and was lucky enough to meet him, in his chambers, while he was still working for Minnesota's Supreme Court. It was a surreal moment to meet not just a Vikings legend, but someone who has given back so much to his community. He also asked me and my partner on the project to sign a copy for him. Alan Page wanted my autograph? Yeah, that is something you don't forget.

Page will receive the honor officially at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Friday.

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