He was largely a forgotten figure from a bygone era, but Milo Radulovich played a pivotal role in bringing an end to the McCarthy era of the 1950s.
Radulovich, who died Monday at age 81, was the subject of an entire broadcast of Edward R. Murrow’s “See It Now” in 1953. Then 28, he had been a lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve who was discharged as a security risk. But he hadn’t done anything — his sister and father has taken and read “subversive newspapers.” The Air Force, however, had no evidence to show that either he or his family had communist ties, and discharged him anyway.
His story led to Murrow’s famous showdown on “See It Now” with Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who never recovered his standing in the court of public opinion. Radulovich was eventually reinstated to the Air Force. When the Murrow pic “Good Night, and Good Luck” was made two years ago, Radulovich served as a consultant to the project.