John Madden was born in 1936 in Austin, Minnesota. He is the son of Earl, an auto mechanic who moved the family to Daly City in search of a better life. John always received encouragement from his parents, who supported his interest in sports.
Although John always had an interest in football, he didn't begin playing until he attended college at California Polytechnic College in 1957. During his time at the college, he received a knee injury, effectively ending any dreams he had of becoming a professional player. He stayed at the school until he earned his master's degree in 1961.
Despite the fact that he couldn't play, Madden still pursued a career in sports when he coached at Hancock Junior College in California. He took a job at San Diego State University as a defensive coordinator in 1964 and eventually became part of the Oakland Raiders in 1967 as a linebacker coach. He stayed with the Raiders until he retired in 1979.
Madden started with CBS as a sports broadcaster in 1980. During his time as a broadcaster, Madden won 13 Emmys and signed a multi-million dollar deal with Fox. He is the author of several books and today, lives with his wife in Pleasanton, California.