“The Black Eagle” is a legendary voice in radio and a recognized human and civil rights activist.
He can be heard weekday mornings on SiriusXM's Urban View, Channel 126.
On his daily morning program, Madison demands action against injustice and challenges his audience with the question: "What are you going to do about it?"
He has appeared on Talkers Magazine's 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts consistently for over a decade, often in the Top 10. In 2019, Madison was honored with an induction into the Radio Hall of Fame.
Throughout his storied radio career, Joe has broken ground and broken records. He has interviewed world leaders, including an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Madison was an All-Conference running back at Washington University in St. Louis where he was also a baritone soloist in the university choir and a disc jockey at the campus radio station. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology, becoming the first person in his family to graduate college.
At age 24, he became the youngest executive director of the NAACP's Detroit branch before being appointed the organization's National Political Director and eventually being elected to the National Board of Directors where he served for 14 years.
During his tenure at the NAACP, Madison led hundreds of volunteers on a series of successful voter registration marches, including a cross-country “March for Dignity” from Los Angeles to Baltimore. The marches garnered thousands of signatures for an anti-apartheid bill in Congress.
Madison's radio career begin in 1980 at Detroit's WXYZ. He continued his broadcast journey to WWDB in Philadelphia, WWRC and WOL in Washington, DC. The popularity of his WOL program led to syndication on the Radio One Talk Network and its XM satellite channel which merged with Sirius to become SiriusXM in 2008. In 2023, Madison celebrated his 15th anniversary with SiriusXM.
While Madison uses his show as a platform for inspiring action on critical issues, he walks the walk himself. He traveled to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, assisted relief workers in the Gulf States after Hurricane Katrina, and led 90 straight days of demonstrations and peaceful arrests in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washignton, DC to raise awareness of genocide in Sudan. He took six trips to the country in the middle of its' civil war to deliver survival kits to refugees and participate in the freeing of over 7,000 Sudanese slaves.
In 2015, Madison set the Guinness World Record for the longest on-air broadcast, 52 hours. During the record-breaking show, he raised more than $250,000 for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Five months later, Madison made history again by broadcasting live from Cuba and becoming the first American radio host to do so in more than 50 years.
In 2021, Madison went on a 73-day hunger strike to encourage passage of voting rights bills. Unbeknownst to his listeners, he was fighting prostate cancer during his hunger strike. When asked if he understood the danger he was in, he replied, “I am willing to die.”
A few months after his hunger strike, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act passed in the Senate with the help of Madison’s continued push on the radio. His efforts were noticed by many, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who publicly thanked him for another fight for justice.
Madison and his wife Sharon have been married for more than 45 years and they currently reside in Washington, D.C. Their blended family includes four children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Other notable achievements:
Selected to join the American Red Cross Board of Governors
Southern Christian Leadership Conference Journalism Award
Washington Association of Black Journalists Community Service Award
NAACP Image Award
Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University in St. Louis
Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Washington University in St. Louis
Led successful campaigns to honor comedian Dick Gregory and Motown artists The Four Tops with long overdue stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.