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Ralph Walter Page


Centurion, 1922–1963

Born 2 October 1881 in Saint Louis, Missouri

Died 6 October 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Buried Bethesda Cemetery, Aberdeen, North Carolina

Proposed by Herbert Hoover and Raphael W. Pumpelly

Elected 1 April 1922 at age forty

Century Memorial

A lawyer, a journalist, and an authority on international affairs, Ralph Page was also a member of a distinguished family of the “old South” and, with his qualities of courtesy and gentleness, much in character with the tradition. His father, Walter Hines Page, was first editor of the Atlantic, then a partner in the publishing firm of Doubleday, Page and Company, and later American ambassador at the Court of St. James’s—a post he held during the First World War.

Ralph, known to his intimates as “Doodle,” thus grew up in a diplomatic ambience and learned much about the complexities of European politics, which helped him in his career as newspaper editor and columnist. He was not confined, however, by any professional preoccupation. He was active in real estate and plantation administration. With Centurion Raphael Pumpelly, he was a pioneer in the development of Samarcand Plantation, a project for peach growing in the sand-hills of North Carolina.

Born in St. Joseph [sic: St. Louis], Missouri, more than eighty years ago, he spent his boyhood in Boston, where his father held his editorial post. He graduated from Harvard College in 1903 and, later, from the Harvard Law School. He practiced law briefly in New York, where his father had entered the publishing business. For a time, he added to his law work by the contribution of articles to such magazines as World’s Work and Current History. He was diverted by the First World War into the “preparedness” drive and was active at the Plattsburg officers’ training camp. At war’s end, he began his work in the Carolinas; parallel with this, he edited the Pinehurst Outlook.

He entered the vocation of journalism in 1933 when he joined the editorial staff of the Evening Bulletin in Philadelphia. It was an interesting commentary on the American tradition of freedom of the press that he was able to maintain his democratic and liberal views in his daily column in this extremely conservative paper. He eventually became the Bulletin’s Washington correspondent.

As an editorial entitled “A Man of Infinite Variety” in the Bulletin after Ralph Page’s death told its readers, he was celebrated off the record for “his booming laugh, his gaiety in personal conversation, his unfailing kindness.” The editorial added that “his memory will remain alive for a long, long time.”

Roger Burlingame
1964 Century Association Yearbook