Vivian Llewellyn Page
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Location: South Center Lawn Lot 141N Space O
( June 1, 1894 - June 21, 1962 )
Vivian L. Page, a prominent attorney and colorful Virginia politician, served in the state legislature from 1924 to 1942. During his political career, he was known for his support of the repeal of prohibition.
Page was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1923. As a Delegate, he fought for the abolishment of the fee system in enforcing anti-drinking laws. The system was set up to encourage law enforcement officials to press for convictions on violations of prohibition laws. He succeeded in ending the fee system in a special session of the Legislature in 1933.
Page served as a Delegate until 1936, when he moved to the state Senate. In that year, a vacancy occurred for the Norfolk seat in the state Senate when Senator John W. Eggleston was appointed Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. Without waiting for the endorsement of the state Democratic organization leaders, Page announced that he would seek the Senate seat. Jumping into the race before anyone else, he was elected.
In 1937, he announced as a candidate for lieutenant governor. However, gubernatorial candidate James H. Price endorsed an opponent of Page for the post. Page immediately withdrew and filed as a candidate for governor against Price, who was running unopposed.
Price, who had the endorsement of the Democratic political organization, won the election, but he and Page joined forces during the next session of the General Assembly to support a reform program. Their efforts were opposed by the forces under U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd. Senator Byrd oversaw a Democratic Party machine that controlled Virginia’s government from the 1920s up until the 1960s. His followers led the Massive Resistance Movement to try to prevent school integration by closing the public schools in Virginia, and also, worked to suppress the African-American vote through the use of a poll-tax and other methods.
When he filed for re-election to the Senate in 1939, Page received little support from the Democratic organization in Norfolk. However, he succeeded in winning the election by a narrow margin.
In 1941, he made a second bid for the governorship, but again lost after the Byrd organization backed Colgate W. Darden, also of Norfolk, for the position. After the second defeat, Page chose to complete his present term in the Senate and retire from politics.
A native of Norfolk, Page earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University. He began is law practice here in 1916 in association with his father and his brothers, Ivor A. Page, Jr., and Judge R. J. B. Page.
Community Builders of Norfolk, Norfolk, VA., 1942, p. 49 (source of photograph)
Bartel, Bill, The Virginian-Pilot, “Virginia’s Powers That Be Have Ranged from Horrific to Historic,” Aug. 21, 2015, p. 3.
The Virginian-Pilot, “Vivian L. Page Dies at 68,” June 22, 1962, pgs. 31, 36.
Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Office hours: Monday to Sunday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Free parking inside cemetery.
Admission Cost: Free
Address: 8100 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23505
Official web site for more information: www.norfolk.gov/cemeteries
Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: www.norfolksocietyforcemeteryconservation.org