Page was born in Dayton, Ohio, and attended Middletown High School in Middletown where he worked on the school's bi-weekly newspaper. After graduating in 1965, he worked freelance as a writer and photographer for The Middletown Journal and The Cincinnati Enquirer, while he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Ohio University.
After his graduation from university in 1969, Page took a position with The Chicago Tribune, and was drafted into the military after only six months with the paper. He found himself assigned as an Army journalist with the 212th Artillery Group at Fort Lewis, Washington, when his obligation ended and he made his way back to the Tribune in 1971.
Page is an occasional panelist on The McLaughlin Group, a regular contributor of essays to NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, host of several documentaries on the Public Broadcasting Service, and an occasional commentator on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Sunday. Page often appears as a political analyst on the Chris Matthews Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. He also appeared in the 1993 film Rising Sun, playing himself as a talk show panel member. Page's achievements came despite an undiagnosed case of ADD, the effects of which he recounts in a chapter in Positively ADD.
Page was married to and later divorced from Leanita McClain, a Tribune columnist who also focused on race and who later took her own life. Page remarried in 1987 to Lisa Johnson with whom he has one son, Grady Jonathan.