Architect and entrepreneur Robert P. Madison was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1923. He graduated from Cleveland’s East Technical High School with honors in mathematics and science in 1940. He attended the School of Architecture at Howard University, but left to serve in World War II as a second lieutenant. He was wounded in action in the Italian Campaign, receiving the Purple Heart and three combat ribbons. He received a B.A. in architecture from Case Western Reserve University, an M.A. in architecture degree from Harvard University, and completed additional studies as a Fulbright Scholar at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France in urban design and prestressed concrete.
Madison served as an assistant professor of architecture at Howard University until he opened his office, Robert P. Madison International, in Cleveland in 1954, the first such office in Ohio opened by an African American architect and only the ninth in the country. Major building projects for the firm have included the United States Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, the Nuclear Facility at Tuskegee Institute (Alabama), and the Cleveland Browns Stadium.
His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Architects, Cleveland Chapter, the Architects Society of Ohio and the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Howard University (1987), the Cleveland Arts Prize (2000), the American Institute of Architects Ohio Gold Medal Firm Award (1994) and induction into the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame.
Madison is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Sigma Pi Phi and Epsilon Delta Rho Fraternities.