DECEMBER 26, 2017


Born in 1923, in Kanatak, Alaska, Roy’s mother was Sugpiaq & Alutiq.  At age 4, Roy’s family moved to Kodiak.  He worked at his father’s hunting camp, scraping flesh off bear skulls.  Later, he was a commercial fisherman & certified bear guide.  Roy enrolled at Oregon State University, but enlisted in the Navy serving on a Patrol Torpedo boat in WWII.  After the war, he attended Lewis & Clark Law School & worked in a District Attorney’s office in Oregon, before going into private practice in Kodiak.  Madsen became a Superior Court Judge in 1975—the 1st Alaskan Native to do so— retiring in 1990.  He worked to pass the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, form the Kodiak Area Native Association, and rebuild Kodiak after the 1964 tsunami.  Roy was on the Univ. of Alaska Board of Regents & helped establish a community college in Kodiak.  He wrote A History of the Kodiak Bench and Bar (1996).  A documentary on his life was in the series Magnetic North: The Alaska Character.  Roy died in Kodiak.

 Mitch Borden, KMXT - Kodiak, “Friends and family remember Judge Roy Madsen,” Alaska Public Media, 
 January 3, 2018.  Retrieved 9/14/2020,
 “The Honorable Roy Madsen,” Advocate Magazine (Lewis & Clark Law School), Fall 2011.  Retrieved 9/14/2020,
Photo:  Courtesy of Lewis & Clark Law School.  Source: 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: