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Journalist Supervised Newseum Construction

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Max Page, a former television journalist who led the team overseeing the design and construction of the Newseum, died after a heart attack at his Vienna home on Sept. 15, his 60th birthday.

He had worked for the Freedom Forum and the Newseum since 1992, most recently as vice president for government and community relations. The Newseum, a museum focused on the news media, opened its new building last year.

"The Newseum is Max's monument," Charles Overby, chief executive of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum, said in a statement. "Max always liked to tackle big things, and he had his hands full with so many contractors running around on nine floors of space. He brought the tenaciousness of a reporter and the sharp eye of an editor to the project."

Max Charles Page was born in Wichita, Kan., and graduated from the University of Kansas. He worked at television station KTVH in Wichita while in school, then worked as a photographer, producer and news director at stations including KCMO in Kansas City, KWTV in Oklahoma City, WFAA in Dallas, WNEP in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and WXIA in Atlanta.

He moved to Washington in 1984 to work for Gannett News Service/Television, rising to executive producer and Washington bureau chief. He was part of a three-member team in 1989 that interviewed Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, and also covered the aftermath of the attack on U.S. Marines in Beirut in 1983, space shuttle launches, the Olympics, Super Bowls, presidential campaigns and political conventions. While working at the Freedom Forum's Rosslyn offices in 1997, he told a Washington Post reporter that he enjoyed the 21st floor view.

"I've just never gotten tired of it," Mr. Page said. "Washington is a beautiful city, especially if you're able to step back and look at it."

He received several awards for his work, including a Dallas Press Club "Katie" award for outstanding coverage of a prison break and a Southeast Regional Emmy award for a documentary. He was a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Kathryn Page of Vienna; three daughters, Kristen Page-Kirby of Shady Side, Jamie Page Deaton of Flint, Tex., and Margaret Page of Belgrade, Serbia; his mother, Marge Page of Wichita; a brother, Al Page of Wichita; two sisters, Jill Brooks of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Susan Page of Washington; and a grandson.

-- Patricia Sullivan

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