Robert West Madden was a staff photographer for National Geographic magazine for more than ten years. He has photographed on all seven continents and published more than 20 National Geographic stories ranging in variety from the Yanomamo Indians of Venezuela to the streets of Brooklyn, New York.

Madden has filled many roles at the National Geographic Society. He has worked as a picture editor for World (now National Geographic Kids) magazine and the National Geographic Book Service.

From 1986 to 1992, Madden was responsible for the presentation of all visual material in National Geographic in his role of senior assistant editor and director of layout and design. During this period, he and his staff won many awards for photography, art, and design. He continued to develop expertise with new media, spearheading the establishment of National Geographic's presence online.

Madden has received many photographic awards. He was named U.S. Photographer of the Year (1971), Magazine Photographer of the Year (1976), and College Photographer of the year (1966). The Overseas Press Club honored his coverage of the 1976 Guatemala earthquake as that year's Best Photographic Coverage From Abroad. His design awards include a silver award of distinctive merit from the Society of Publication Designers and commendations from the New York Art Directors Club and Communication Arts, among others. He has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS Morning News, and at many professional seminars and events. He has given many presentations on photography, design, and digital technology.

A Midwesterner, Madden graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a B.S. in English and history and is a recipient of that university's Distinguished Alumni Award. He studied photojournalism in graduate school at the University of Missouri before working as a correspondent for the Madison (Wisconsin) Capital Times and as a photographer for the Dubuque (Iowa) Telegraph Herald.

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