|Ralph Miliband (January 7 1924 – May 21 1994), born Adolphe Miliband, was a Belgian-born British sociologist known as a prominent Marxist thinker. He has been described as “one of the best known academic Marxists of his generation”, in this manner being compared with Edward Palmer Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm and Perry Anderson.Miliband was born in Belgium, to working class Polish-Jewish immigrants, but fled to Britain in 1940 to avoid persecution after Nazi Germany invaded. Learning to speak English and enrolling at the London School of Economics, he became involved in left-wing politics, and made a personal commitment to the cause of socialism at the grave of Karl Marx. After serving in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, he gained British citizenship and settled down in London in 1946.
During the 1960s, he arose as a prominent member of the New Left movement in Britain, which was critical of established Stalinist governments in the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. He published several noted books on Marxist theory and the criticism of capitalism, such as Parliamentary Socialism (1961) and Marxism and Politics (1977).
Despite his lifelong criticism of the Labour Party, both his sons, David and Ed Miliband went on to become senior members of the party following their father’s death, with the latter defeating the former to be elected party leader in 2010.