Madden, Roberta

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Roberta Margaret Young was born November 9, 1936 in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Mary and Theodore Young of Ames' Iowa. She was the oldest of four children and got her first job at a supermarket after her parents divorced in 1951. These early years were influential on Roberta, particularly an incident when her mother was passed up for a promotion in favor of a younger and less-experienced employee because he was male. In 1953, Roberta received a scholarship to attend Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls (now University of Northern Iowa) to become a schoolteacher and two years later she met Jerry David Madden. They were married September 6, 1956 in Knoxville, Tenn., and spent the next several years relocating around the country as Jerry assumed various teaching positions, writing fellowships, and degree programs, and Roberta worked as a journalist while completing her bachelor's degree in Government from Ohio University. Their son Blake was born in 1960. The Maddens moved to Baton Rouge in 1968 after Jerry accepted a position in the English Department at Louisiana State University. That same year Madden's long career as an activist began in earnest with her joining the Baton Rouge Council of Human Relations. From the late 1960s through the 2000s she was involved in numerous national, regional, state, and local organizations focusing on a variety of progressive causes including equal rights for women and minorities, consumer protection, and increased political and financial enfranchisement of traditionally oppressed groups. Madden ran unsuccessfully for the Louisiana State Senate in 1979, but emerged as a highly sought organizer and promoter by groups and future candidates over the next two decades. Though Madden held various high-level positions in the public and private sector, her most substantiative professional relationship was with the Greater Baton Rouge YWCA, serving in executive positions in the early 1980s and from 1994 to 2009. Madden's personal life' professional career, and activism frequently overlapped and after being successfully treated for breast cancer in 1993 her focus was on the health issues of women, minorities, and others in underserved communities. By the time of her retirement in 2009, Madden had recieved numerous awards and recognitions, including induction into the Louisiana Center for Women and Government Hall of Fame. In 2010 Madden and her husband moved to Black Mountain, North Carolina to be closer to her son,s family.

From the description of Roberta M. Madden papers, 1968-2010 (bulk 1970-1990). (Louisiana State University). WorldCat record id: 747860510

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Madden, Roberta. Roberta M. Madden papers, 1968-2010 (bulk 1970-1990). Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
referencedIn Common Cause Louisiana. 1972-1991. Common Cause Louisiana records, 1972-1991 (bulk 1980-1990). Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Association of University Women. Louisiana State Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Business and Professional Women's Club (Baton Rouge, La.) corporateBody
associatedWith Capital Area Affiliate of the International Alliance of Executive and Professional Women (Baton Rouge, La.) corporateBody
associatedWith Common Cause/Louisiana. corporateBody
associatedWith Common Cause Louisiana. 1972-1991. corporateBody
associatedWith Common Cause (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Democratic Party (La.) corporateBody
associatedWith East Baton Rouge Parish Consumer Protection Center. corporateBody
associatedWith East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President's Commission on the Needs of Women. corporateBody
associatedWith League of Women Voters (Baton Rouge, La.) corporateBody
associatedWith Louisiana Consumers' League. corporateBody
associatedWith Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women. corporateBody
associatedWith Louisiana Gay Political Action Caucus. corporateBody
associatedWith Louisiana. Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. corporateBody
associatedWith Louisiana Governor's Conference on Women (1976: Baton Rouge, La.) corporateBody
associatedWith Louisiana Women's Political Caucus. corporateBody
associatedWith Metz, Mary S. person
associatedWith National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Organization for Women. corporateBody
associatedWith National Women's Conference 1977 Houston, Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith National Women's Political Caucus (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Older Women's League (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Planned Parenthood Federation of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Roberts, Sylvia. person
associatedWith United States Commission on Civil Rights. Louisiana Advisory Committee. corporateBody
associatedWith Veteran Feminists of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Action Alliance. corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Campaign Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Council of Greater Baton Rouge. corporateBody
associatedWith Women's Equity Action League. corporateBody
associatedWith Young Women's Christian Association (Baton Rouge, La.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Louisiana--Baton Rouge
United States
International Women's Year, 1975
Women employees
Women--Legal status, laws, etc
Sex discrimination against women--Law and legislation
Environmental protection
Underground press publications
Consumer protection
Civil rights
Women in the labor movement
Women--Political activity
Women's health services
Equal rights amendments
Social justice
Women political activists
Gay and lesbian rights
Anti-rape movement


Active 1968

Active 2010



Ark ID: w6wx0kgh

SNAC ID: 59577051