In the ""People Who Have Helped the World"" series, an adulatory yet carefully reasoned biography that well supports the theme advanced on its title page: ""His courage and ideals set the standard for broadcast journalism."" Murrow and his family--North Carolinians whose backwoods Quaker forebears opposed the Civil War--moved to rural Washington in 1913, when he was five. Formative influences included continuing poverty, hard work, and early responsibilities; family Bible-reading and storytelling contributed early to an active interest in language and ideas that was continued in college, where he was the most gifted student of an unusually gifted speech teacher and shone in debates. In 1930, Murrow engineered Atlanta's first integrated convention (of the National Student Federation, of which he was president). Entering the new radio industry, he garnered an extraordinary number of firsts: broadcasting on-site reports on the Anschluss from Vienna, and during the Blitz from London rooftops; pioneering in-depth coverage and editorial analysis as mainstays of CBS News in the 40's and 50's. Ironically, it was his dedication to the fully explicated truth that eventually made him unpopular with CBS management--in an age when sound bites were growing ever briefer and sponsors deplored controversy. An excellent inspirational biography. List of books and other sources; glossary; chronology; illustrated with photos; index.