Paul J. Madigan

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Paul J. Madigan
Paul J. Madigan.jpg
Born (1897-03-13)March 13, 1897
Maple Lake, Minnesota
Died December 25, 1974(1974-12-25) (aged 77)
Stearns County, Minnesota
Known for Warden of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary (1955–1961)

Paul Joseph Madigan (March 13, 1897 – December 25, 1974) was the third warden of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, which was situated on Alcatraz Island, California, US. He was born in Maple Lake, Minnesota in 1897.[1][2] Madigan served as warden of Alcatraz from 1955 to 1961, and had earlier served as the last Associate Warden during the term of James A. Johnston, the first Warden of Alcatraz.[3] He has been cited as the only warden who had worked his way up from the bottom of the ranks of the prison staff hierarchy, having worked originally as a Correctional Officer on Alcatraz from the 1930s.[4][5] In May 21, 1941, Madigan was a key to quashing an escape attempt after being held hostage in the Model Industries Building, and later led to a promotion as associate warden.[3] He was a stout, ruddy-faced, pipe-smoking, devout Irish Catholic.[6] Unlike his predecessors, Madigan was known for being more lenient and softer in his approach to administering the prison and was better liked by the prison staff.[4] During his term as warden from January 1955, there was a movement underway headed by the likes of James V. Bennett to close Alcatraz and replace with a new centralized penitentiary; the decision was finalized in 1961, the year Madigan's term ended, and Alcatraz was closed two years later.

In 1958-9 he was involved in a legal case against John Lee.[7]


  1. ^ "Paul J Madigan, "United States Social Security Death Index"". Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  2. ^ "Albuquerque Tribune, Friday, January 07, 1955 : Front Page". Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  3. ^ a b Jerry (27 January 2011). The Fading Voices of Alcatraz. AuthorHouse. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-4567-1487-1. Retrieved 7 September 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "JrJr.2011" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ a b "Alcatraz". Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Dunbar, Richard (1 January 1999). Alcatraz. Casa Editrice Bonechi. p. 53. ISBN 978-88-8029-940-0. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Babyak, Jolene (July 1994). Birdman: the many faces of Robert Stroud. Ariel Vamp Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-9618752-2-0. Retrieved 7 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "John LEE, Petitioner, v. Paul J. MADIGAN, Warden, Federal Penitentiary, Alcatraz, California.". Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 7 September 2012.