Kenneth Sanborn

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Kenneth Noble "Ken" Sanborn (born November 14, 1926) is a retired Michigan politician and judge best known for successfully defending his friend Milo Radulovich against charges of communism in 1953. The case was a major factor in helping turn public opinion in the United States against McCarthyism.

Early life

Sanborn has resided in Mount Clemens, Michigan, for most of his life. He married Lois Leidel, and they had four children: Christine, Janice, Mark, and Alan.


Ken Sanborn graduated from the University of Detroit Law School in 1949. Sanborn's career as a lawyer was highlighted by the Radulovich trial, which gained national attention. He served as Clinton Township's Justice of the Peace from 1951 to 1956, then was elected State Representative for Macomb County (then the 3rd District) and held that seat in 1957 and 1958. He next served as Clinton Township Supervisor, from 1959 to 1961, and held office as the trustee and chairman of Macomb Community College until 1968.

In 1972, Sanborn became a probate judge in Mount Clemens, and then in 1978 was promoted to circuit judge for Michigan's 16th Circuit Court.


Sanborn served as circuit judge until 1990, when he retired and became a visiting judge for Macomb County.

Ken and Lois Sanborn have a vacation home in Florida and often spend months at a time there, but their main residence is still in Macomb County. They have 11 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

Sanborn's role in the Radulovich trial is highlighted in the book, To Strike at a King. It is also commemorated as a "Michigan Legal Milestone" in a plaque erected by the State Bar of Michigan.[1]


  1. ^ Michigan Legal Milestones. Archived 2009-01-14 at the Wayback Machine.
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