Yale '62 - Obituaries - William J. Madden

William J. Madden

Born: October 22, 1940
Died: May 19, 2003

Bill Madden was born in Jersey City, son of Joseph Madden and Marian Donahue Madden. He attended Xavier High School in New York and graduated from Stevens Academy in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Bill, one of the premier basketball players in Yale history, was captain of our freshman team and starting guard for every game of his illustrious three year varsity career. He captained the varsity our senior year, leading the team to a 13-1 Ivy record, the Ivy League Championship and an NCAA tournament berth which culminated in a heart breaking overtime loss to Wake Forest. The success of his 1962 team would not be duplicated for forty years.

Bill was first team All Ivy in 1961 and 1962 and Honorable Mention All American in 1962. Bill was a superb free throw shooter, leading our team in completion percentage for all three years. For his free throw skills he was awarded the Eggie Miles Trophy in 1961. His 15 points per game career average still ranks 10th best in Yale basketball history.

Bill was a History major and a resident of Silliman. In Silliman he served on the Activities Committee and played touch football and softball. He was a member of DKE, the More Club and Scroll & Key.

Following graduation he obtained his law degree at the University of Virginia. During law school he helped coach the Cavaliers freshman basketball team.

Bill served in the Cost Guard Reserve program for 6 years. Later, he earned a Masters degree in Business Administration from Columbia University.

Bill's love of basketball influenced his early legal career. He became a sports lawyer and agent, representing many of the New York Knickerbockers of the 1970's. He developed a business that controlled the flow of NBA players to the European professional leagues. Bill served as president of the Yale Basketball Association for a number of years and loyally supported Yale basketball, organizing pre game parties and promoting attendance whenever Yale played in the New York metropolitan area.

In addition to his sports work, Bill served briefly as head of the New Jersey Laborers' Union, succeeding his father after he passed away. In the mid-eighties he took another sabbatical from the law and donned a contractor's hard hat to build condominium housing for students in Michigan. He founded two law firms and continued to practice until his health recently failed. In the mid-1990's Bill served as a volunteer assistant coach of the Columbia basketball team although his loyalty to the Bulldogs never wavered.

Bill successfully beat lung cancer and a brain tumor but ultimately succumbed to a series of strokes in 2003, dying on May 19 at Mt. Sinai Hospital. He is survived by his son Kyle, age 17, currently a senior at Collegiate School in Manhattan, and his wife Judy Gates Madden. His mother Marian and sister Peggy Melnik, both of Spring Lake, New Jersey, also survive him. At the Memorial Service held on June 4 at St. Ignatius Church in Manhattan the Yale and Colombia basketball coaches were joined by many teammates and friends including classmates John Van Ness and his wife, Dan Murphy, Tad Ogden, Larry Lipsher, Larry Prince, Stan Schneider, Bob Hull and Ken Cascone, who supplied information for this obituary.