Image of CBCA's Founder John Madden, Jr. with CBCA logo in the background

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA)’s founding chairman, John Worthington Madden, Jr., passed away peacefully at his home in Greenwood Village, Colo., on January 19, 2024, at age 94.

On behalf of the CBCA board, staff and nearly 300 strong member organizations representing 25 diverse industry sectors, we are deeply saddened by the news of Mr. Madden, Jr.’s passing. His vision is why CBCA exists, as he understood the many economic and social benefits through the intersection of business and the arts, and he built a successful career on those values. He also was an admired business leader who gave generously back to this community. We honor his legacy today and always and send our condolences to his family and friends.

In 1984, Madden, Jr. brought together a distinguished, forward-thinking group of Colorado business leaders who believed in the importance and value of arts and culture. They were inspired by David Rockefeller’s national Business Committee for the Arts, which was formed in 1967 by a group of business leaders committed to demonstrating corporate social responsibility through supporting the arts. Under this model, CBCA was created in 1985 with the mission to educate, motivate and recognize business support for and participation in the arts in Colorado. We honored to have continued that legacy and vision nearly 40 years later and beyond.

As the first executive director of CBCA, I had the opportunity to work closely with John Madden, Jr. in the mid 80’s. I was so impressed with his commitment to art and his interest in sharing that passion in all his business developments. As the Chair of CBCA, he was a strong advocate for the creation of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and used his strong ties in the business community to champion SCFD with the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and his contemporaries. I learned so much from him about the importance of “showing up” for what you believed in and also enjoying your passions. He has left a strong legacy with his family and in his buildings.” – Vicki Sterling

Image of Cleo Parker Robinson and John Madden Jr.

In 2010, for our 25th anniversary, CBCA created the John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award. Named for CBCA’s founding chairman, the John Madden, Jr. Leadership Award is a lifetime achievement award recognizing extraordinary leadership and a legacy of support for the arts. It honors individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing arts and culture in Colorado and is given annually at CBCA’s Business for the Arts Awards luncheon.

Mr. Madden, Jr. was born and raised in Omaha, Neb. on April 12, 1929, to John Worthington Madden Sr., and Dorothy Pinkerton Madden.  John and Marjorie Putt Madden were married in 1950, while he attended the University of Nebraska. He then went on to co-found Pinkerton, Madden, Burford Insurance before creating the John Madden Company in the late 1960s. The John Madden Company rapidly advanced to become a major commercial real estate development firm. After several successful development projects in Omaha, Iowa, and California, he relocated the company to Colorado in the 1970s, with the commercial development focus on the over 300 contiguous acres procured in Greenwood Village. The company built over 10-million square feet of office and mixed-use space in its over 60-year history, and was known for its innovative mix of art, architecture and landscaping, along with thoughtful master planning that included the Greenwood Athletic Club (Club Greenwood), the Museum of Outdoor Arts, Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, and restaurants and parks.

Image of Chris Wineman, John Madden, Margaret Jackson, Cynthia Madden Leitner, Mayor John Hickenlooper, and Deborah Jordy

In addition to his business ventures, Mr. Madden, Jr. was an avid supporter of the arts, education and health and fitness. He co-founded the Museum of Outdoor Arts, with his wife, Marjorie P. Madden and daughter, Cynthia Madden Leitner. He and his son J. developed Club Greenwood, a premier athletic club in Greenwood Village. John also founded the Madden Museum, which houses an extensive world-class art collection. This collection was generously contributed to the University of Denver in 2016. Furthermore, he enjoyed supporting education through generous gifts to Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain, the Boy Scouts of America and many other educational institutions.

A public memorial celebration will take place at MOA’s Marjorie Park, to be announced this spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Museum of Outdoor Arts’ John W. Madden Jr. memorial fund for arts education.