-- Adam Bernstein, The Washington Post
Monday, February 4, 2008
Murdaugh S. Madden, 85, general counsel of the Humane
Society of the United States from 1971 to 1990 who earlier
had represented clients accused of disloyalty during the
anti-communist witch hunt, died Jan. 13 at George
Washington University Hospital. He had pneumonia.
Mr. Madden spent more than two decades in private
practice before joining the Humane Society, where he
remained senior counsel until his death.
As a young lawyer in the 1950s, he handled nearly 100
cases involving charges of disloyalty or removal from
government service for alleged communist sympathies.
His clients included actor Marc Lawrence, who implicated
other performers as communist sympathizers before the
House Un-American Activities Committee, and a Coast Guard seaman who had initially
been denied a commission because his mother had been a communist.
In another case, Mr. Madden was one of the lawyers who helped prove willful misconduct
by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in the aftermath of a 1954 crash in an estuary near
Shannon Airport in Ireland.
The lawyers won a $350,000 wrongful-death verdict for the family of a Fairfax County
businessman, William Tuller, who survived the crash but drowned while waiting for help.
In 1961, Mr. Madden became a partner at the large Washington law firm started by
Ramsay D. Potts. Among the firm's clients was the Humane Society of the United States.
As the society's general counsel, Mr. Madden played a role in the society's investigation
into the bleaching of birds on the film set of
"Jonathan Livingston Seagull" (1973).
He also sued the Defense Department over its plan to kill millions of blackbirds near
military facilities. The plan to kill them with a chemical spray was stopped, but only
temporarily, through the efforts of environmental and wildlife groups.
Later, Mr. Madden's work concentrated on bequests to the Humane Society through
estates and trusts, especially those that were contested or required litigation. He also
helped frame the original constitution of the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
Murdaugh Stuart Madden was born Feb. 26, 1922, in Morgantown, W.Va. His family
moved to Washington in 1935, when his father, J.
Warren Madden, became the first chairman of the National Labor Relations Board.
Mr. Madden was a graduate of the old Western High School (1940), George
Washington University (1942) and Harvard Law School (1948). He served with the Army
Air Forces in Europe during World War II.
He was an officer of many legal and animal protection associations and was a member
of the Metropolitan and Chevy Chase clubs. His avocations included playing the violin,
tennis (he was team captain at GWU), squash, boating, skiing, ice skating and singing in
In the mid-1960s, he led a partnership that won the rights to bring a professional soccer
franchise to Washington, but the effort failed when he was outbid for use of D.C.
Stadium. The Madden group sold the franchise to a subsidiary of the Baltimore Orioles.
His marriage to Louise Mann Madden ended in divorce. His second wife, Eileen Dillon
Madden, died in 1996. A son from the first marriage, Michael M. Madden, died in 1996.
Survivors include his wife of eight years, Constance McKenna Madden of Washington;
two children from his first marriage, Liddell L. Madden of Salisbury, Md., and M. Stuart
Madden Jr. of Mount Vernon, N.Y.; four stepsons, Kevin McKenna of Alexandria,
Brendan McKenna of Ballina, Ireland, Damian McKenna of Binghamton, N.Y., and Kieran
McKenna of Burke; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Madden defended clients
in Red Scare cases.